The 3-Day Novel Contest: To pay or not to pay?

3DN-logo-2014Each year as the end of summer approaches, I begin thinking about participating in the 3-Day Novel Contest.

As longtime readers of this blog may already know, I officially participated in 2011 and wrote the first draft of what ultimately became Ninjas of the 512. Though I didn’t win the contest and take home a cash prize, I did walk away with something quite valuable: the manuscript of my first finished novel.

Knowing that the entry fee is $50 – pretty steep, especially if you don’t take home one of the top three slots – I haven’t officially entered the contest since then, though I’ve flirted with the idea of writing along with the participants as a writing exercise.

Somehow it’s just not the same, though. And I think it’s the payment of that entry fee that truly makes the difference.

You see, even if you don’t win, you still WANT to win. And if you’re not officially entered into the contest, there’s no way you CAN win, so you don’t have to take it quite as seriously. The 3-day deadline isn’t real for you if there’s nothing on the line. Sure, you COULD still finish that novel in 3 days… but will you?

Probably not.

I’ve tried it both ways and, honestly, not wanting to waste my entry fee was the defining factor that got the work done, despite all the obstacles, the frustration, and the work I was avoiding. (Yes, lots of us still have to work over 3-day holiday weekends.)

So will I enter this year’s contest, pay the 50 bucks, and give it my best shot?

I’m still debating. After all, I’ve got plenty of other projects I need to finish. Why not just hole up in the writing cave and give’er?

But the idea of a ninja sequel keeps tugging at the back of my mind. Why not set aside 3 measly days – just 72 hours – to crank it out?

What do you think, gentle readers? Would you like to read another ninja story, or should I just keep on with my sexy stories instead?