Our preceding posts this month have emphasised the need for planning in order to succeed at reaching our 50k goal in November. But no matter how much you plan, there will always be periods where you are stumped, floundering for your next burst of ideas. And as the story does develop, the plot that you imagined in the planning stage can change quite significantly. If you read last week’s post, you now understand there will be periods in NaNoWriMo when you would literally prefer to pluck out your eyeballs rather than continue. But there are all sorts of tips and tricks to keep your forward momentum moving.
Ways to Boost Your Word Count:
You can use the traditional method of freewriting if you wish, though I would suggest you write around a word that is relative to your setting, action, characters or theme. Does this chapter need emphasis on theme above character or character above setting, or setting above action, action above all else? Choose which framework it is and write it from there. This will help make your chapters seem fresh and not too insular or samey . Write from the point-of-view (POV) of your character, not yourself. What would their thoughts be about this subject?
An alternative way of freewriting, rather than use a word as its centre point, is to chose a household object – any object – and begin by describing it (again, FROM THE POV OF YOUR CHARACTER and their unique view on the world), allowing the narrative to follow tangents.
You might have encountered writing advice that decries using too much exposition in a story because it drags the pacing down. If you are unfamiliar with what I mean, exposition means backstory, technical procedure, social structures and politics. Basically, anything that explains instead of dramatises. But with Nano, that isn't a concern. Here you can indulge yourself and write lengthy narratives diving into your characters deep and distant pasts. You can squeal with delight at your intricate details of how to make a nuclear reactor. You can describe everything the character sees right down to the speck of dust on the skirting boards. It doesn't matter. Eventually, you will see the clearing in the woods which is where your actual scene takes place. When you go back to revise, you will keep only the absolute relevant details and scrap the rest.
I know, not the most comfortable of areas to write in for the majority, but a sex scene can really get the zing back in your flow. It can be humorous, absurd, trite o