Tips for NaNoWriMo Week Three

For those of us participating in NaNoWriMo, the halfway mark has passed us. Ideally, you should have 30,000 words written by tonight. But this is not an ideal world, and word counts too easily fall behind. But do not despair, fellow Wrimos! You can still catch up, and I am going to share a few of the tricks I have been using.

  • Add Explosions
    During last November (and most other Novembers), I repeatedly would run face-first into writer’s block. My solution was to add a literal explosion to the story every time that happened. That worked fine for me, but of course explosions do not fit in well with every genre. However, even if you are writing something in which an explosion would be out of place, that doesn’t mean you can’t add a metaphorical explosion to your story. Have a character start an argument, if that sort of thing works for you. Even if you are afraid of writing yourself into a corner, keep pushing ahead with whatever you have ignited. After all, you can always blast yourself out of any other corners that come your way.
  • Talk out the Plot
    I normally do not advocate discussing works-in-progress until I have at least a finished first draft. However, I have found that most literary rules take a vacation in November. The simple act of talking about what is going on in your story with a trusted friend or loved one can help immensely. Even if your confidante doesn’t offer any advice, I often find that giving voice to my problems makes the solution more obvious.
  • Work on Multiple Projects
    This tip might sound contradictory at first, considering the goal is to make this month easier. But quite frequently, when I am wrestling with writer’s block, a new idea will come to me, one that cannot possibly fit into the story I have started but nevertheless captures my attention. This very scenario happened to me quite recently. My story was progressing, but then the dreaded writer’s block rose up in my path. After one day of writing nothing, I decided to risk it all and start writing an idea that had come to me one evening. Since then, I have managed at least two thousand words a day and am quickly catching up to where I should be. Will I get writer’s block with this new story? Perhaps. But when I do, I will be able to transition back to my original idea without missing a beat.

What writing tricks do you use to carry yourself through the month and across the finish line?

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