Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014 Prep: 3 Simple Tips for Slaying your Word Count

National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us! It's my favorite time of the year. I have four published NaNo novels (Blood, Smoke and Mirrors; Bewitched, Blooded and Bewildered; Poison in the Blood; and Sunsinger), and though I haven't won NaNo every year I always make an attempt. I'm still on the fence about whether I'll be working on Harrison's book or the sequel to Bite Me this year. We'll see...

My previous NaNo posts can be found here. I've covered topics from describing my past NaNo experiences to offering tips on plotting and using tropes in your novel, but today I'll be talking about hitting your daily word count. To achieve NaNoWriMo glory you must cross the 50k word finish line by November 30th. The simplest way to ensure this is to set a daily word count goal of 1,667 words. (Aside, Thanksgiving will almost always mess you up, so it's best to plan ahead and bank some extra words before the holiday hits.)

Word Count Slayage Tip 1: NaNoWriMo, meet HabitRPG

I love HabitRPG. It's a simple, free site that allows you to treat your life like a role-playing game. (This is an old pic of my character. Now I'm level 34!) Habit allows you to create your own customized daily tasks, habits, and to do lists. I use it both for writing and everyday tasks. If I write 1k words, I get xp. Do the dishes, get xp. Walk the dog, get xp. You get the idea.

For the gamer-minded author, HabitRPG is a great way to stay motivated to finish your work-in-progress. People often ask me, "What do you win with NaNoWriMo?" Satisfaction! But if you're a NaNoer and a HabitRPGer, then you get satisfaction and experience points. ;)

Word Count Slayage Tip 2: Word War!

If you have a competitive mindset, then word wars are a great way to increase your word count. You set a specific amount of time (like an hour), and the person who writes the most words within that time period wins the war. My BFF Diana and I used to bet sandwiches--the loser would have to pay for the winner's sandwich the next time we went to our favorite coffee shop.

Many authors on Twitter like to do 1k/1hr challenges, where they recruit other writers to join them in trying to write 1,000 words in one hour. Or you could follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter for crazy writing prompts and extra motivation.

Word Count Slayage Tip 3: Turn off the Internet

It's easy to fall down the research rabbit hole when working on a new novel. The temptation to stop and look up dates, place names, and other interesting tidbits can turn into hours of distraction. And the Internet will always try to lure you away with promises of adorable cat videos, important FB status updates, and emails that magically appear in your inbox when you're trying to write. If you're easily distracted, then turn your Internet connection off. All the way off. Hell, unplug your modem if you can. Set a timer, apply butt to chair, and write. When you're done you can reward yourself with lolcats. ;)

Before NaNo starts I'll post about writing exercises and story mapping, so please check back for more NaNo tips. Have some favorite tips to share? Please post them in the comments!


Want to win a free signed copy of Poison in the Blood? Enter the Goodreads giveaway!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Poison in the Blood by Robyn Bachar

Poison in the Blood

by Robyn Bachar

Giveaway ends October 31, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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