That said, this is my third NaNo, and I can tell you that it can be tough, even in the early days, to get past the 1,500 mark. So, let me share with you some of my tried-and-true methods to pump up my word count.
The first trick is to turn off the inner censor. Just put everything floating in your head down on the page – you can fix it later. Can’t find the right word? Put the approximate word or even just a blank set a parenthesis there, and keep writing. Sentence sucks? Tell your censor to shut up until the second draft. Sometimes that’s not enough. I find if I highlight the sentence, it appeases the censor enough that I can keep writing. If it’s a real stinker,
use the strike-through feature – but keep those words. You wrote them, and they count. If you can think of a re-wording right away, go ahead and write it. But whatever you do, don’t sit and mull for 15 minutes. Time’s a-wastin’, and you’ve got words to get down on the page.
The second trick is much cheaper. Profanity counts as words. Sometimes, it helps me to take a few dozen words and just curse out my plot, my brain and whichever character is gumming up the works. Or to simply write, “damn, damn, damn . . . .” About the 20th repetition, I start to want a little variety, and sometimes it inspires the characters to do something. It’s all about getting goddamn words on the goddamn page. (See what I did there? LOL!)
Third, meta-comments count. Vague meanderings sometimes chase each other around my brain endlessly, but I find that actually getting those thoughts out on paper is a great way to pin them down, analyze them briefly, and get on with the story. Meta-comments (about the eventual plot, about the character’s inner musings, about the setting or what I want to convey) are a great way to throw the inner censor a bone, and let you get on to the more important work of getting thoughts on paper. All of these words are part of the discovery process, and they should count toward your daily word count.
I’m trying something new to me this NaNo – a mainstream novel about a girl and a transvestite stranded in Narita International Airport. Well, that’s mainstream for me – I don’t plan on adding demons, witches or space rockets at any point. But then again, it’s NaNo. Who knows what will show up during the process?
If you are doing NaNo too, I’d be happy to buddy you – I’m Michaeline Duskova in the Japan section. If you’d like to share your user name in the comments, and maybe a little bit about your story, other readers of this blog can find you more easily.
So pumped for this month! Let’s do it!!