Monday, November 14, 2016

NaNoWriMo CRUNCH: 3 Ways to Keep Going

CRUNCH! Nope, not cereal or Captain Crunch. This is about Writer'sblockitis during, oh please no but it does happen, NaNoWriMo.

I'm doing NaNo now. Currently about 20,000 words and no, not suffering from Writer'sblockitis but I have experienced this during NaNo. But I still became a WINNER.

How did I do it???

Well, there is an important thing that I keep telling myself when I feel like I'm getting to that CRUNCH in NaNoWriMo. That is,

Yes, keep moving the story forward.

But exactly how do you do it then? Well, the key is to keep asking questions after every sentence you write.

"Tommy went to the store and met Bailey."


"It was in the middle of summer but in the air-conditioned store it was almost cold."

Describe it. Don't just say it was cold. The feeling of cold is different for everyone.

"The air-conditioner was set at 22 degrees Celsius, much too cold for anyone. Tommy wondered if he sneezed if his boogers would turn to ice."

Sorry that was gross but this turned into a children's book. And then WHAT?? 

"Tommy asked Bailey if it had always been that way." Character interaction helps move the story forward.

" 'No, it hasn't."


" Ever since the polar bears came to live in my Dad's cellar he always keeps it cold.' "


" 'You have polar bears in your cellar?' Tommy couldn't believe his ears."

So then what?

"Bailey put her finger to her lips, 'I'm not supposed to tell anyone. Can you keep it a secret?'"

If you are intrigued, that's good :)

Another way to keep things moving is to keep having things happening. Like the polar bears, for instance. Especially for NaNo, the first goal is the word count. You can worry about content and consistency later.

For example, in my NaNo,

Chapter 1: my anthro MC is living a happy life (BORING) and then boom! Her family is killed. She is taken in by another clan.

Chapter 2: Years later we find her alone in some desert lands. She meets humans she doesn't trust. She meets another of her kind. He is immature and crazy. He tells her to come with him to find something that might take care of their killers. His motives are different from hers.

Chapter 3: He is annoying. They go to a city. She loses him in a crowd. She meets a strange sorcerer. He lives in a land where time is still. MC meets back up with the same of her kind she lost in the crowd.

Chapter 4: He has taken in an orphan of the species that killed her family. Sorcerer takes care of her wound on her paw. He uses sorcerer magic. They find out about the thing that can take care of their killers.

Chapter 5: MC must learn how to identify magic by scent and subtle vibrations. Sorcerer will train MC. The other of her kind really does not want her to come with him but he needs to suck it up.

And this is where it stops :P

You can see, not a moment's to rest. Well, certainly I have relaxing moments of my MC taking a shower or devouring food, but basically interesting things keep happening and no matter what genre you're writing I believe you can do the same thing. Worry about consistency and such later. In order to finish NaNo, you need to keep yourself interested in the story so as not get the NaNoWriMo CRUNCH.

So, here's how you can conquer Writer'sblockitis during NaNo a.k.a the NaNoWriMo CRUNCH:

Keep moving the story forward by...

asking questions after every sentence you write
-what next?
-and then what?
-What do you mean "it was cold?" How cold? What did it feel like? Icy? Did you shiver? Not to that extent? The cold never bothered you anyway?

keeping yourself interested in the story
-make things happen one after another
-there is no time to sit down and contemplate life, get moving
-try aiming for a page turner, but of course you're not pressured to write a masterpiece in a month

using the "Andes"
"She went to bed and..." "He saw a bird and..." "I yawned loudly and...", and, and, and, and what? Describe, continue, move the story forward. And, and, and...then it flew over his head and... disappeared behind a bush. (is that it?) He glimpsed a golden tail. (which means what to him?) Could it be the one his mother whispered to him...(where, when?) on her deathbed? (and suddenly, it is intriguing).

Happy Writing, fellow NaNoWriMo warriors! :D

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