Well, you've made it. No, not to the finish line, but to the last week of this marathon of a month. Are you caught up? Or are you still fighting for every single word placed behind the blinking cursor, hoping to reach 50,000? Whatever your word count may be, I have a secret for you. You're a winner. You signed up for a month long insane marathon of novel writing and you started that novel. Congratulations.
But maybe that finish line is just slightly out of reach. If you're falling behind by just a little too much to reach that 50,000 word mark, there are some shameless ways to get your word count up. Sure, it's bad writing. But at this point, who cares? It's a first draft anyway and I'm pretty sure when you signed up to do NaNo you signed a contract allowing yourself to suck.
- Do a find and replace for something, like a character or building, and change to the to something long winded like: The Little Gray Bar on the Corner of 5th Avenue. You just gained 9 extra words (assuming the bar name was originally 1) for every single time you mention that. It adds up.
- Browse through your manuscript, or write a new scene, and shamelessly describe it. Go through the thesaurus and find every word that means the same thing and throw it in there. In a way that makes sense, of course.
- Write a fight. A verbal tirade. In my writing these can easily eat up a few hundred words in minutes. Why? Because it's heated and exciting. You're feeling the argument in your head and everything ou want to yell makes its way onto the page. Fast. If you aren't big on dialogue, write anything else that may be emotionally charged. Happy, sad, angry, strong emotions make for lots of words.
- Have your character start reciting poetry or singing, and write every verse out.Send a character with his/her love interest dancing and write out all the verses to the song they're dancing to with the excuse that one of the characters is singing it to his/her partner as they dance. Shameless copyright infringement? Maybe. Word count upper? Definitely. Besides, you can edit it out later. For now, you eed it to get to the finish line. Besides, Tolkien has pages upon pages of songs and poetry in his books, albeit he wrote them himself. (Something classic that is practically a book all on its own works really well. lol)
- Still short some words? Dream sequences and flashbacks are the perfect solution. You can either write new material, or use stuff you'd already written previously. Character is thinking back to a moment that happened near the beginning of the book? Go into flashback mode and copy and paste the scene in again.
Those are my 5 tips. Do you have any to add to help people get through these last few days?
The best of luck to everyone that has embarked on this journey. I'm cheering each and every one of you on to reach that finish line, whether I know you or not. But remember, even if you don't reach 50,000 words, you're still a winner. I can't say that enough. YOU ARE STILL A WINNER. Never forget that.
And a little note before I end this post; Dec 1st-15th I will be running a draw for a $10 Amazon gift certificate, sponsored by my publisher 5 Prince Publishing. So keep your eyes open for how to enter that draw, because who doesn't love free stuff? And just in time for Christmas too!