Thursday, November 17, 2011

NaNoWriMo Guide to Survival

I hit the halfway point of my NaNoWriMo novel yesterday. I’m still a little behind the goal for today, but I thought I would take a short break and tell you how to go about writing 50,000 words in a month the Christina G Gaudet way (aka wrong).

Step One

Go in with one idea and on Day 1 change your mind and go with something completely different. This way all of those pesky ideas that you’ve been working out in your brain become completely useless and you’ll be starting off completely blind.

Step Two

Don’t bother writing every day. Who wants to write an easy 1667 words a day when you could write 5000 words in one go every three days? It’s way more fun when you’re constantly well below that goal line on the NaNoGraph. If you were actually on par, you might not get to experience that feeling of panic every time you sit down to write.

Step Three

Plots are for losers. They just slow down the story and make it difficult for the characters to stand around doing nothing for three chapters at a time. Besides if you just keep writing, eventually a plot will emerge on its own. Either that or you’ll dig yourself into a deep hole that no amount of character killing and blowing things up can get you out of.

Step Four

Give every person in that crowded room your writing about a name and make sure that the reader needs to remember each one for later. Every Joe Blow is a main character in your story after all. Except that one guy. No one really cares about him.

Step Five

Have that one guy that no one cares about completely take over the story. Hey, maybe people will learn to care about him. And if not, you can always kill him off later.

Step Six

Just when you think you know where you’re going with the story, take a break, have a shower, go to sleep, whatever. When you get back to writing, you’ll have completely forgotten what you were doing and will have to spend a half hour trying to think of the same idea all over again.
Step Seven

Have a scene in your head which you’ve been working toward the entire story, and when you finally get there, completely change that scene so that it’s nothing like the awesomeness that you first envisioned. For example, if your two characters have been building to an amazing romantic scene, get them there and then have them fight. To the death. That’s a way better idea anyway.

 Step Eight

Know how people always say you should know how your story ends before writing the beginning? Well, in reality they are just jealous of you’re genius. You don’t have to have any idea how the story ends. It’ll end when you stop typing after the words “the end.” Who cares if anything was resolved or if the characters grew in any way. That stuff is for sissies.

Step Nine

Got a male main character? Make him sound and act like a girl, or vise-versa. You don’t want to fall into stereotypes after all. And you really don’t want people to be able to picture the character in their head as their reading. That would be too easy. Make them work to find out what your character is really like by using lots of contradictions and character traits that are never mentioned more than once.

Step Ten

When you get to the half way point of your story, make sure that you destroy everything that you’ve built up to that point with a giant explosion. You don’t need an established setting or main character. Get rid of them all, it will be like starting the book all over again!

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