Something Out of Nothing and a little trick to help hit that Word Count

Badge of Honour

Badge of Honour

As you will probably know, once more this year I am NaNoWroMo-ing, just for the fun of it. I reached the 10,000 word mark today and thought I would share with you just how weird it feels to have soaked so much creative juice onto electronic paper is just 6 days. Yuk, what a horrible metaphor. All the good ones are in the 10,000 words (probably).

Seven days ago I had a name for a person. OK, it is a silly name, unless you really are called Nathan Xylophone in which case I am sorry to have mocked you. But really, it is a silly name. Your nemesis-type person thing also has a silly name, but I’m not going to reveal that here.

I have discovered a nice way of handling the word count fright that comes with this territory. I plan to write 2000 words a day, like Stephen King does, so I have split this up into 20 blocks of 100 words. 100 reasonably coherent words are easy to write and 20 is a small enough number of blocks not to be too scary. As the challenge – 50,000 words in 30 days – translates to 1,667 words a day, I have leeway for procrastination (or staring out the window, if you prefer). If you are NaNoWriMo-ing too and find the word count a bit of a scary thing, then feel free to try out the block method. Splitting stuff up into smaller manageable chunks isn’t new of course, but I mention this here in case you haven’t thought of it before.

If you really have writer’s block then look out the window and imagine your main character looking in at you. Describe the scene from your point of view, from his point of view, from the POV of the spider you’ve just noticed. I have another word document of notes open where I can put such things. It helps to get those creative juices flowing and, if you are short of words at the end include your notes. No one is going to disallow them!

A Canine 'Helper'

A Canine ‘Helper’

Since 1st November, my guy has travelled through time and is about to be presented with a dog. And there has been a vortex that looks like “a wobbly mess of flaming bluey black treacle”. What I love about writing like this, over a far more compressed time frame than usual is that if you ask me “what’s going to happen next?” I can honestly answer “I have no idea”.

40,000 more words to go. It still seems a lot but now I have to keep going to see how it all ends.


Categories: NaNoWriMo, Writing | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Something Out of Nothing and a little trick to help hit that Word Count

  1. A great plan. I hear that Mr D. Bowie once used the newspaper for his inspiration. He wrote a few songs stoned out of his gourd (you don’t want to come down out of that high to the level where you are able to conjugate verbs) by picking random words out of the newspaper and stringing them together. The problem that writers have is that people actually read their words and can vet them past their mental brainboxes (unless they, too, are stoned out of their gourds and then the laws of the vernacular are not quite so important) without a solid backbeat or musical accompaniment to distract them from the task at hand. Sterling effort and one day I might even write something. 2000 words (the average length of one of my blog posts 😉 ) seems to come pretty naturally. Maybe I just need to exercise my inner D. Bowie for a bit.

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  2. I love how all this has evolved and yes I’ve read one of the extracts… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I sit here now, I have 50,000 words portraying a world that did not exist on October 31st, world that includes a robodog, pink one-wheeled cars and countdown clouds. They were clearly in my brain waiting… scary…
      Thank you for reading an extract, I do hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read it with an open mind as didn’t know what to expect. I certainly enjoyed what I read, it made me smile and left me feeling enticed to read more.
        How amazing to have come so far in such a short space of time! You definitely have the knack of writing.
        Well done 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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