Monday, November 25, 2013

NaNoWriMo Tips

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's participating in NaNoWriMo who felt on top of the world there for a little bit--
"Oh, I've got 23,000 words, I'll do fine! It's only the second week. I'm going to finish in time, no doubt about it!"
-- And while I was feeling pretty good about how much I'd written, I got rather lazy.Then I realized that I have exactly FIVE DAYS to write the remaining 27,000 words! EEEEEEP!

I'm the queen of procrastination-- really, just ask my parents. I have two Language Arts writing assignments that were supposed to have been turned in two months ago, and I haven't even started researching for them.

Every ten weeks I'm supposed to turn in practice times for my flute, and I do all the practicing the night before it has to be submitted for grading (that's 700 minutes, people! Talk about my family not being able to sleep. I'm down there in the basement with my chin stuck to my flute playing Christmas carols over and over again, just so I can write down that I practiced for 700 minutes during the whole grading period!).

I'm putting off my history homework by doing NaNoWriMo.

Right now I'm procrastinating on writing for NaNoWriMo by writing this blog post.

You get the point.

So here's what I've done in the past 48 hours that have helped me bring my word count up from 23,000 to 32,000:

1. Chew gum. I know that sounds weird, but it works. Studies have shown that chewing gum can help you stay focused on longer tasks that require continuous monitoring. It makes you think. Google that, if you don't believe me.
In fact, I'd be chewing gum right now if my jaws weren't so sore from all that chomping!

2. Don't stop writing. I don't care what you write, just don't stop! Write a rhyming monologue between your protagonist and your bad guy. Write a fourteen-page description of your captain's ship cabin. Write song lyrics for music that will someday play in the background of this scene if your NaNo gets made into a movie.
You're a writer. Discipline yourself. Don't let your pen come off the paper.

3. Forget what I just said and do stop writing! Yes, I know I just said the opposite of that, but your brain may need an occasional break. If you've been sitting in that computer desk chair so long that there is an imprint of your butt in the seat (ha! Made you look, didn't I?), or if your dog looks at you like you're a stranger when you come upstairs to get a drink, you need to get away from that story for a little while. Get up and stretch, or exercise; walk the dog that doesn't seem to know you because he hasn't seen you in so long, or listen to some music.
Set goals and take breaks when you reach them. When we're writing, we tend to forget that we need to take care of little things like that. Breaks are a good time to tend to them.

4. Write from a different POV, or about a minor character who has faded into the background of your story. You never know, you may find these things useful when you write the second draft of your novel after NaNoWriMo.

5. Use the Thesaurus. Yes, that old-fashioned-looking thing on the shelf there. Look up all the adjectives, verbs, and nouns in your last sentence. Then rewrite the sentence as many ways as you can using those synonyms.

6. Keep a diary for your character. Writing about the little things in your character's everyday life can help you get to know him better. It's also a great way to expand your word count. :^)

7. Again, DON'T STOP WRITING!!! This is the most important thing that can be learned during NaNoWriMo. It's the whole point of this venture. We're writers; we're strong and we can write through anything. We can't stop.

Seven is my lucky number, so I think I'll stop this blog post here. Back to the drawing board! I mean, Google Drive.


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