This year, I've been looking forward to getting started since the summer! I've had my novel planned (at least the first few chapters - I don't plan out whole storylines as I don't like the ruin the surprise). It's the start of what I hope will be another five book series and is coming along great. I have to be honest though, if I didn't have the writing experience I have, I would probably still be in the swearing, cursing, vows to never do this again, early days.
So here are some of my tips to keep that word count going:
- Set aside time each day. If you normally watch tv in the evening, switch off the box and spend that hour writing instead. Working a day job? Take a notepad to work and scribble in your lunch hour.
- Plan at least a chapter ahead so you know where you need to go when you sit down for your writing time.
- Don't think too far ahead or you will get overwhelmed. Break the challenge down into measurable chunks. Remember this is not a race. The people who have written 20K in the first three days may end up blocked and struggling by the end. Slow and steady will get you to the end!
- Break down the words you need to get. 500 words during the day, and just over a 1000 in the evening will mean you'll hit your goal.
- Get involved in some word wars. Focus, uninterrupted, for twenty minutes at a time.and see how many words you can write. I can generally manage around 500 in that twenty minute period which means I can pretty much get my word count in an hour.
- If you start to get stuck, jump ahead and write a scene which is playing in your head, or that you really want to write -- a great conversation between your characters, a revelation in your plot, or a seriously spicy sex scene!
- Again, if you're blocked, switch mediums or locations. If I loose track of where I'm going with a story, a piece of paper and a pen will often see me through. I create spider charts with all the different characters and elements and try to see where the story is heading.
- And if you're REALLY stuck, kill off a character. That will always give you something to write about, even if it doesn't happen until later in the book!
I hope that helps somewhat. And remember that it doesn't matter if you fall behind early on. There is plenty of time to catch up!
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