Monday, 24 November 2014

How I wrote 1 MILLION Words [NaNoWriMo WordBoosters, Tips and Tricks]

Recently, I hit 1million words on my NaNoWriMo novel. That's a huge ton of words. 33,333 words a day, if I did it over the course of 30 days. I did it over the course of 21. Since I maxed out the wordcount, and hit that million, people have asked me "how did you do it". Some have asked how long it took, or how fast I type, or how much time I have spare a day. Some people ask how the holy heck did I get my one plot to last that long.
There's a simple trick, really. Here is an email I just sent out about it.
I use a lot of fillers to hit those stupid wordcounts, which now stands at over 1mil as of the official end of the novel. Fillers that I use will definitely be edited out, as I borrow from other genres, even toying with the realm of dragons in a YA supernatural novel. However, that's not to say all of my novel is fillers. I had a bare skeletal plot in my head (I do not plan), with only three major points of interest. Using Todorov's 3-act structure, I am able to create a unique plot with all the freedom of someone who lets their stream of consciousness drip onto the page.
For example, in this novel, I make each part clear, and expand on all three with huge plots between points. However, once the 'new equilibrium' is reached, I don't stop there! In fact, there's a good 20k after the final point has been explored, in a sort of epilogue-esque scene in which the person who knew my MC relays all this information to the bottle of whiskey, then I throw a spanner in the works - my novel actually ends with "the war had finally begun". Not only does this leave wiggle room for a sequel, it padded up the word count.
Again, bulking up often results in fillers. In fact, unless you're a talented writer and consider all of a 5-part or more series one novel, you're pot out of luck... unless you resort to fillers. I have had to employ them this year, to make the 1-million word count that many people covet. And again, once December hits, at least 500k will be deleted, and forever thrown into the void of bloopers--they might be useful for another story, but at this moment in time, they just aren't ready to be used. There is a quote out there, but I have totally forgotten it; it goes something like 'if there is an idea, write it down now, for an idea you save for later will be forgotten". 
And that is exactly it. There's no special way of getting something to last. In fact, one thing I did was to add some dragons. Even if they aren't your thing, add them, anyway. If you're not doing NaNo and you're writing seriously, then don't--unless your novel is about dragons. Or you're Tolkein.  
If you're writing seriously, then fillers are still worthy, but you can't really be too outrageous with them--writing romance? Add a scene where your FMC tells the MMC about her last boyfriend for 5k words. Maybe you should do a crawl! I once did the Hunger Games Crawl (from the NaNoWriMo forums), and managed to get over 8k. That was pretty damn fab.

No comments:

Post a Comment


x | All content, snippets, and work, copyright Kristin James 2009-2016