Sunday, 9 November 2014

Keep Going, NaNoWriMos!

By now, you should have around 15,000 words if everything has gone according to schedule. If you’re writing in chronological order, then you should already have some key scenes and the majority of the blurb underway. If your writing the important scenes first, you might have the structure of the entire novel waiting for the blanks to be filled in and the scenes to be linked up.

Whatever your writing, here are a few more tips and tricks, good things to know, and great other articles to read.

If it’s your first book

For those of you still dreaming of publishing, you should be aware that it is easier to sell a short book than a long one. If it looks like your novel will be over 100,000 words, then it will be more difficult for you to grab an agent or publisher. That in mind, if you reach your 50,000 word limit, you’ll end up with well over half your novel complete. That will make it so much easier to finish.

If you’re writing middle grade or young adult fiction

50,000 words is a good size for this genre, so effectively you’re writing a whole entire novel - get you! Especially you middle grade writers. Maybe your book won’t even make the 50,000 mark, but who says every scene you write needs to be included?

Fantasy Writers

Book where complex world building is essential are usually given a little more leeway when it comes to word counts. The final product can be a little longer which means there’s a trick you can use to boost your word count. Write a few scenes which focus on developing the world rather than the plot or characters. The more you know about your world, the more it shows.

Horror fiction

Recently J.P. Jackson wrote an article on finding inspiration in very likely places, and what resources you can use to get a creativity boost. Although tailored to the horror genre, most of the tips still apply to any genre. Definitely one to check out.

How to Boost Creativity

Here’s an older article I wrote when I was still studying Psychology. The first set of tips consists of general things you can do to help squeeze out few more words. The second set of tips is grounded in psychological research and includes easy things you can do if you want to boost your word count but find staring at the screen a hopeless waste of time.

For the ramblers...

You might be starting to feel like your ability to write has crumbled away with every extra word you force out of yourself. Info dumping, too much scene or character building over plot, or perhaps just so much repetition in structure of vocabulary that some of your scenes feel like déjà vu. That’s okay. You can edit this later – redrafting is much easier than creating. Once this is all over, you can take a break and read a good book to refresh your writing juices. Right now focus on pushing forward.

And the gamblers...

Maybe you’re writing scene that just have no place whatsoever in the final cut. Or perhaps you’re trying out a few different twists and feel like you’re gambling too much time away on sections that will probably be deleted. This is also not a completely wasted experience. The more you write, the more you’ll learn about your characters and their environment. And who knows when you might end up using the idea later to some extent?

If your mind is too critical when you’re writing, you’ll struggle to get into flow. Don't be harsh on yourself - right now, you're the only one who's reading it and you can fix up the issues later.

If you were a little late to the game

Reaching 50,000 words in a month is a heck of an achievement. Reaching 40,000 words is a heck of an achievement. Even 10,000 is more than you would have had if you didn’t do the NaNoWriMo, right? Whatever you final word count is, it’s a huge leap forwards towards a completed novel and will get your mind thinking, plotting, twisting. No amount of words is a failure. It’s more than you would have had if you continued your life without the NaNoWriMo, so even if you're late to the game, aim for 50,000 and see what happens.

Keep going, guys. Post your word counts below!