|"Punk Flutist", a work in progress.|
This is the end, beautiful friendthe Doors
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Yes, National Novel Writing Month is over once more, and I'm happy to say I managed to finish in time this year too. Not as euphoric about it as last year, but still rather pleased with the result. It's not as badly written as last year though, since I followed a few simple rules.
Firstly, NaNoWriMo can be rather hectic, if you don't see it for what it is: A way to learn how to turn that inner editor off while working on a first draft. I have a very strong editor myself, so I find it quite difficult. If you write frantically for a month you will most certainly not get a finished story out of NaNoWriMo, but you will at least have a good idea.
I know lots of people who write their novels during NaNoWriMo; not that strange really. You get that kick in the right direction that only a challenge can bring. I for one can't say no to a challenge, so I'm pretty pleased that I'm not a man living during the 1700's - I really suck at fencing with rapiers.
This is why I wanted to talk about NaNoWriMo as a writing technique.
This is for us who only get to the other side of the road block if there's a challenge to it. If we're stuck somewhere in the middle and just can't get further without writing something extremely silly. Like a shaving scene that we probably don't need at all. Yes, I have one of those. I had no idea what to write, so I crammed it in there. Fur is shaving with a straight razor and not doing a very good job either. It was fun to write, but the entire scene is just as valuable as a hot dog with sauerkraut - a stomache filler - and it will be cut (even though I think it's actually quite good) in January.
The first challenge is therefore to write as fast as possible without editing. We've already done this, so now let's go deeper into the marshes of challenges. It's even better if you have a couple of friends with you on these, then you can't skip the challanges and keep on staring at an empty document. The forums at NaNoWriMo are full of ideas for a creative kick-start, and just to take a few:
- Dares. I dare you to add a Corkscrew of Destiny, or even better: The Travelling Shovel of Death. The thing is, you'll have to make it sound right to work. This is a great way to jump over that road block you were about to crash into earlier.
- Word Sprints. I do these every day, more or less. It's an easy way to get in shape if you're not there quite yet. Here's a way to make a Word Sprint, and here's my result on that challenge.
- Word Wars. You need to have a writing buddy here, otherwise you won't really have anyone to fight. It's all about getting more words written than the opponent in the same amount of time.
- Crawls. Write 2000 words in a day. Or similar. You'll get more time, but also a smaller goal for the day. I use crawls and write at least 2000 words a day. If I'm not procrastinating.
Just because November is over, there's no reason to stop writing. I still have at least 25 000 words to write before I reach the end of my story, and after that I'll return to editing the novel I started writing last year. And as usual, I'll start every writing session with a word sprint, then seal the deal for the day with a crawl.