Wednesday, December 12, 2007

nanowrimo cheat sheet

I participated November, along with 900,000 others, in National Novel Writing Month, finishing with 50,255 words. Yay! I think the biggest problem for most participating writers is being able to just write and not make changes until the end. However, for me the challenge was the word count, because just getting the story line out of my head is my usual route for writing anything. If anyone read my rough drafts, including my grocery lists, I’m sure they would think it was written by my son… he’s three.
That pesky main reason for the NANOWRIMO was to accomplish writing 50,000 words in one month. This makes it difficult for me since my rough drafts usually include the lines, look this up and write description here. I wrote “THE END”, at around 45,000 (and that was really pushing it!) words. I had been writing at a pretty steady pace for most of the month — most days a little under 1700 words. I wasn’t going to give up, so I went back to the beginning and started editing. I managed to get that last 5,000 words in about 20 hours. Keep in mind it probably took 50 hours for 45,000 words. (These are rough estimates)
If, and that is a BIG if, I take the challenge next year, at least I have learned a couple of lesson when it comes to getting enough words: use lots of descriptions, and even if I don’t think it will stay in the story but it jumps in my head, write it down anyway. Or I can take all the creative advice I received from family and writing friends on how to get my word count up. Here’s a few just in case I, or anyone else, needs them for next year.

  • Write the character’s first and last name every time, or give your character 2 names – Bobbi Sue.
  • Do not use contractions.
  • Write passages like, She went to bed and slept, and slept, and slept, and…
  • Start a new story at the end of the story.
  • Start the sequel.
  • Write an epilogue or a prologue.
  • Have a character remember something that happened earlier in the story and cut and paste.
  • Have the character go to bed and dream every night. (Doesn’t matter what the dream is about.)

    Have anymore word count stretching ideas?


1 comment:

Humble Fiction Cafe said...
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