Thursday, November 5, 2009

How's NaNo Going?

For anyone doing NaNoWriMo, how's it going? I kept up beautifully for three whole days. But now I'm behind by about 700 words. That means I have to write 2367 to get even today. Probably not gonna happen!

But, if you're having trouble meeting your goal, here are some tips, thanks to our CenTex group's brainstorming session Monday (when we were supposed to be writing).

Have a character who repeats everything said to him or her.

Use him or her instead of him. Or her. Use that a lot.

Do not use incomplete sentences. Insert the whole subject, verb thing, always, at all times.

Never use contractions, spell everything out.

Use several small words wherever you can instead of one big one.

Describe everything fully. I know, this is bad writing, but you can take it out later. After you've fulfilled your goal. Oops. I mean: You can do this after you have fulfilled your writing goal and after you have met your word count. (See how much better that is?)

Any other ideas on padding--I mean reaching the word count?


  1. Lots of chatter and circular arguments. Step-by-step details of every action. Vamp till you know what really happens next. Describe everything. Get the MC lost in a strange town at night. Give all characters compound names: Billy Bob, Becky Sue, Etta Cetera.

  2. Have a mc that stutters and don't forget to describe every blade of grass. I noticed in Stephen King's novels he repeats something from the first chapter in about every other chapter or so.

  3. Oh yes, multiple names. I'm doing that! I have a character named Amy Jo Beth Anderson. Stuttering is good, too. Aha, The King is onto our tricks, too! We're in good company, then.

  4. Wow, some really great tips here! One thing I try to do (similar to what Cher'ley mentioned) is at the top of each new scene, have one character explain to a character who wasn't present, what happened in the previous scene. It's so easy for a reader to forget from page page... :)

  5. Good point, Viva. Those forgetful readers! And then later, when editing, you can decide which place to leave it in. Works for me.

    I also see I'm missing an opportunity. Amy JoBeth should be Amy Jo Beth (her mother was into Alcott, but didn't like the name Meg).

  6. Kaye, you are awesome! I'm using the same tricks per our writing meeting on Monday. I have to say though, it's really freeing to let break all the editing rules during NaNoWriMo. I love not worrying and just writing.

  7. I started like a hare, I have done 14200 words.......but now have reached a wall so these tips may help me out!! you could have a character thinking of a song and then quote the whole lyrics.

  8. I will also add:

    Rule 1: No contractions. Spell those words out.

    Rule 2: Sometimes characters repeat the question in dialogue. i.e. "Go to town." "You're telling me that I should go to town?" "Yes, I said to go to town."

    Rule 3 (especially for EmmaK above): Forget what you think it is or is not. JUST KEEP WRITING!