So it’s been quite a while since I posted one of these. I don’t have much of an excuse, just the fact that I was finishing up my book ((The Finest Trick post here)) and then spending pretty much every waking moment that wasn’t devoted to school, on outlining my Camp NaNo project. I actually went from having a 200+ page outline for The Finest Trick to an 8 page outline for The Kids Aren’t Alright. So that was interesting.
Speaking of NaNo, happy first day of Camp NaNo! In spirit of this, I’m going to be sharing three quick, simple tips on how to make that word count ((or page/line count)) appear much faster.
First step, implement weekly word count goals, not daily. Unless you work better under pressure, or daily word count goals generally work better for you, you should be focusing more on weeks. Focusing on weeks rather than days gives you a much more flexible limit, and keeps your stress levels from rocketing. One of NaNoWriMo’s things is that it kind of hinges directly on the “Write every day” rule- But it doesn’t have to. Especially since the “Write every day” rule is the most bullshit rule I’ve ever heard.
As you can kind of see on this very shitty picture of my calendar, I marked what word count I should be at or surpassed on every Saturday ((except the first one, obviously, since it is today)). I put 68000 on the 29th, so I only have 2000 words to write on the last day ((you should adjust to fit your word count goal, and your capabilities)). All I did to do this was divide my word count goal by four.
Second, take breaks. Most times you’re trying to achieve a big word count in a single day, the best way to go is taking a lot of breaks in between short sprints. Now, this seems like it would be counterproductive, but it keeps your brain and body moving, which in turn keeps you from getting bored and/or tired. This also fuels you with motivation to continue.
Not every break needs to be binge watching Netflix or leaving the house. You can take a break from writing your NaNo project to edit/outline your manuscript. You can take a break to clean your room or do a couple chores. You can take a break to eat. It’s small, simple stuff to keep your day moving and keep your brain active.
Finally, a tip that pertains closest to drafting, write out all of your dialogue first. Every time you’re about to write a conversation, open up a separate doc. and write out the conversation.
This will keep you from getting writer’s blocked, make the conversation seem more natural, and generally make it easier to write the scene ((Note: This tip was originally cited by Jenna Moreci in her How To Write Convincing Dialogue vlog)).
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