Monday, November 14, 2011

How To Write 50,000 Words In 14 Days

novel under construction

This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo. In the two previous years, I have managed to finish having completed my 50,000 words and "winning" based on my word count, which both times was two or three thousand over 50,000 words.

This year, I thought I would try somethign different. I wanted to challenge myself even more, so I set a goal of writing 10,000 words every three days until I reached 50,000 words. I actually beat that goal and reached a word count of 50,020 words within the first two weeks of National Novel Writing Month.

You might be asking how I did it? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I did it, but I will share with you some of the strategies I used while writing my novel for NaNoWriMo.

1. Split your focus between different parts of the story-line. I decided this time that, instead of writing a one-story-line novel, I was going to write a novel of short stories. Because of this, whenever I felt stuck on what I was writing or just needed a break from it, I was able to switch to a different story to write about. This can work when writing a one-story novel as well. When you get stuck on a certain part of the story or just need a break from what you are writing, start on a different scene within the story. You can always go back to finish the one you started with and when you do, you will feel refreshed and full of new ideas.

2. Set aside as much time as you can spare for writing. You may find, as I did, that you can sneak more writing time into your day than you originally thought was possible. I wrote when my kids were at school, when my youngest napped, and again when all of the children went to bed. Sometimes I had to stay up late, but it was worth it.

3. Get rid of distractions during your writing time. Many things constitute distractions. My kids are very distracting, so I wrote when they were in bed or at school. The tv is distracting, so I made sure it was off when I was writing. Facebook and Twitter are distracting, so I told myself that I would reach a specific word count before allowing myself time on either site.

4. Challenge yourself. Try and beat your best record for word count in a day. Or look at how your friends are doing and try to beat their word count. Think of a daily word count that seems slightly out of reach for you and then challenge yourself to find a way to reach it that day.

5. Believe in yourself. No matter what obstacles seem to be in the way of you reaching your word count goal, believe that you will overcome them. Because you can.

6. Make writing a priority. There may be a lot of things that have to be priorities in your life, but if you are reading this, then there is at least a part of you that wants to make writing a priority too. So do it. Make writing something you will not allow yourself to set aside.

7. Get rid of your internal editor. Just write without looking back. When you finish your novel, you can go back and edit what you have written, but just let it go while you are in the middle of writing.

8. When you are not writing your novel, talk about it with others. I used to talk to my husband about my story while we walked the dog every evening. Not only was he helpful in coming up with new ideas or ways for me to think about my plot, but also, just the act of talking about it helped me come up with new ideas on my own.

9. And the one thing I think it the most important is to have fun with your story! Enjoy every second of the world you are creating!


Justin Bogdanovitch said...

There's that persistence thing again rising up to make a nice thought balloon: WOW :-)

Very good advice, and I can't wait to read the finished product, R!

Becky Fyfe said...

Thanks, Justin! I am hoping to have it finshed and edited and ready for sending out to publishers no later than February.

Leif G.S. Notae said...

Amen to that, it is good to have a plan and it is great to see it come together when you are focused. I did my first NaNo in 13 days doing the same methods. I wouldn't wish doing what I did this year on anyone, 3 days to completion was hard work.

Hope it all pans out for you and we get to hear more wonderful things about it! Thanks for sharing.

Cathy said...