Sunday, 2 November 2014

How I Wrote A Novel in A DAY - NaNoWriMo Tips, Tricks, and WordBoosters

It's November. For a large majority of creatives, that hearkens the start of NaNoWriMo. And some of us like to get a huge headstart within the first few days. Some of us even complete our novels on day one! I, am one of those people.
Every year I am a a pantser, no questions asked. But my last post described how pantsers can plan just a tiny amount and know everything about their story. That's where this post builds on that - this is the master guide to writing an entire book in a day, even if NaNoWriMo isn't your thing.

Describe everything. Description is a huge word booster and also helps you and the readers to know more about characters, the world the story is set among other things. Just remember that when you enter the editing phase that info-dumping tends to be removed because it can be tedious to read. Subtly describing things with the overuse of prepositions and ownership helps too, because it is subtly done!
Another really good tip is to know your characters beforehand so you don't slip up with some silly mistakes. Over the years, I've learned to remember details, but sometimes those details can slip my mind and I need to re-read some crazy amounts which also takes up a lot of my time. Jot down basic information that the reader knows such as parents, home town, hair colour, eye colour and relationships. It might also be good to note some things that are only mentioned once or twice, just for realism.
When writing a book, you need to remember the three act structure. Nanowrimo is the same! Try to remember how things were at the start, what throws the characters into turmoil, and how the book ends. Remember - you need to be a sadist to your characters. Put them through unimaginable trials, Hellish sequences of pain and even torture! In my book, I added a torture scene because they are great for building up your word count. Reasoning? Because you can go into gross detail about the torture, the blood, the bodily excretions, the pain, the instruments, the people doing it, how the characters feel etc. If you're writing something like a Young Adult romance, you might want to steer clear from torture though. Most other genres can handle torture, however - horror, adult romance (50 Shades?), thriller, crime... you name it- it could fit into most genres with ease. But also remember that even if you can't use torture for some genres, you could use other types of wordboosters. For young adult books, self-care scenes of taking baths or maybe even going through age-related issues can help. For example, in my book which is a book with a primarily young adult cast but aimed at twenty-somethings, I have bath scenes, party scenes, eating scenes, self-injury scenes and more.
Building up words is mainly important for NaNoWriMo,  but it is useful in getting a first draft written. Remember that describing settings is just as important as describing people. Give the house a smell, give the forest a specific sound, maybe make that hallway have a weird feeling to it. Tell us aboout the fog on the window or the sound of the microwave or describe how there is a stain on the floor that annoys your character. Maybe tell us about the dog hairs on the floor from where the dog was lying, or how the room still smells like cat food even though the cat went missing a week ago. Give them a real life, give them flaws or pets or a favorite food. Write about how those chocolate wrappers are still all over the floor from last night or how the bathroom bin needs emptying but nobody wants to do it. Its amazing how little authors write about things like that but I honestly believe that writin more about the house and the personality is very beneficial.

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