Every November millions of authors get together in an extreme writing event known as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. If you've joined in on the fun, you're probably already feeling the challenge of producing 1,667 words a day, every single day, for the entire month. Your enthusiasm may still be high, but it will start to flag some time during the month, guaranteed. That's when these fun, crazy and weird writing tips will come in handy for powering through to the finish line on November 30. 50,000 words are closer than ever.
- Make your word count a game. Reward yourself with a piece of gourmet chocolate or an episode of your favorite show every time you reach your goal.
- Don't have an hour one day? Break your writing up into chunks. Do ten minutes at a time until you hit your word count.
- Plot bunnies are your friend. Check the forums on the NaNo website to find lots of random plot curvesto put in your novel.
- Throw in your childhood nemesis. You know that kid from the next block who bullied everyone else? Yeah, he deserves a horrible ending. Give him what he deserves. Change his name, though.
- Make it a holiday! You can fill your daily quota easily with your characters opening Christmas gifts or sniping at each other around a holiday table.
- Following your outline closely? Spend three days freestyling it, just to see where your story goes.
- If you're a pantser, on the other hand, write down a detailed plot as a road map for the next weekend. See if your word count rises if you already know where you're going before you start writing.
- Join a NaNo group designed to egg each other on. Each member throws out a plot twist once, and you have to incorporate it into your work that day. Found your missing snow shovel? Someone yarn-bombed your tree? All the chocolate in the world suddenly disappears? Figure out how they fit into your book.
- Skip around. If you're stuck on what to write in chapter nine, move on to chapter 12. Nine might be easier to write when you know where you need to get to.
- Kill someone off. It can be a random minor character who only turns out to be important later, but the act of her death will bring on all sorts of possibilities for the next few chapters.
- Remember that this is a first draft. Your one and only goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. They have to be a story, but they don't have to be a great story. That's what editing is for. NaNoWriMo is for writing a fun book without worrying about consequences. And sometimes that makes the best book of all.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!