John’s Nanowrimo Tips, Tricks and Cheats

One week into Camp NaNaNoWriMo and the usual panic has set in. I.e., how can I do this, this was a bad idea, I’m quitting writing forever, blah blah blah, you know the drill. Everyone hits that wall once in awhile. So to help you out, I’m going to reveal the secrets of my writing process! Ready?

…Mostly, it’s procrastination. A looot of procrastination. There’s a good reason that everything of worth I’ve produced in the last few years has been with a partner.  I am not the best at self-motivating. But once I get going, I can usually do okay. But what to write when you actually get to it?  For those of you also doing NaNo, here’s a couple of my favorite tricks.

-Play with characters’ speech patterns a bit. Maybe Character X has a tendency to be overly verbose, and Character Y tends not to use contractions. That sort of thing can be useful, *and* it can help tell you things about the character you didn’t know.

-Strange digressions! Dialogue is my favorite thing to write, and having characters go off on unusual tangents is a great way to pad out a scene. Most of it probably won’t make the final cut, but it can tell you things about character relationships that can inform your future writing.

-If you’re desperate, a superfluous sex scene can work *wonders* for your word count. Nobody says it has to be in the final cut!

-Find excuses to include tiny worldbuilding details that you might not have otherwise mentioned. This one can be especially fun!

-If you’re really desperate, cheat. Omit hyphens where they don’t look too weird. If a character has a title (the boss, the chief, the captain, etc), refer to them as that in dialogue tags instead of by their name. Things like that!


I do hope these tips have been of some use. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more writing and/or a nervous breakdown to get back to.

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