A month-long challenge designed to help you plan a novel prior to writing it.
Posted in 2019 but still applicable.
We've had some issues with this in the past, so I wanted to clarify the 72-hour rule, especially for newcomers.
It's okay to work ahead. The issue is that some people have misinterpreted this particular rule in the past.
It doesn't matter which assignments you do in which order, but if you don't log an assignment within 72 hours of logging the previous assignment, you'll be disqualified. For the math-challenged, 72 hours is three full days (3*24=72).
Example: You're an overachiever and you've managed to do the first two weeks' worth of assignments on October 1, and logged the last one at 11:59 pm. You may think you have until the 15th to log the next assignment. But if you don't log something else by October 4 at 11:58 pm, you'll be disqualified from the primary award.
Some other examples:
Log the first assignment on October 1 at 3:00 am. Your next log must occur before 3 am on October 4.
You've been working diligently, logging one assignment a day from October 1 through October 10. Then on the 11th your in-laws show up unexpectedly and stay overnight. This screws up your schedule and you can't write again until October 13. That's okay, as long as you log something before 72 hours have passed.
You log an assignment on October 1. You log the next one on October 3. On the 5th you play catch-up, logging three assignments, for a total of 5. You're fine.
One additional caveat: If you're submitting to a Contest Round, the hard deadline for that is 12 noon, WDC time, on the Sunday following the contest round. If you're just doing the exercise without participating in the Contest Round, you can log it at any time - bearing in mind the 72-hour rule.
If you want to know how much time has elapsed since your last assignment was logged, check the log (linked in the forum description above), look up your name on the left and the "Time Elapsed" column three cells over. This gives the time in decimal hours since your previous log (for instance, 1 hour 30 minutes would show up as 1.50. Don't make us do the work to convert that to hh:mm format, because we're lazy.)
Feel free to ask any questions if I still haven't explained this very well.