Sunday, November 3, 2019

Encouraging Creative Flow and Gradually Increasing Word Count

We revealed the cover of THE FATE OF THE TALA! So now everyone knows who the mystery protagonist is. (If you can't guess from the image, the description - and preorder link - are here.)

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is a challenge to write a drabble related to our most recent book or series. (A drabble is a scene in exactly 100 words. No more, no less.)

As usual for me with writing challenges, I'm going to pass on this one. I have good reasons for it, which I'm talking about on today's podcast. I'm doing daily podcasts at First Cup of Coffee during NaNoWriMo encouraging writers to embrace creative flow, i.e.: Pants that NaNoWriMo story!

On yesterday's podcast, First Cup of Coffee - November 2, 2019, I talked about building up daily wordcount gradually. So I've resurrected a previous post that gives a suggested strategy for hitting that 50K in November NaNoWriMo goal.

Here's the essence of it:

I take my own advice. The sort I had the opportunity to hand out a couple of weeks ago when Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, visited our local chapter meeting, something I mentioned in last week’s post, too. One gal asked if Chris had advice on how to get going on writing those 1,667 words/day to make the 50K words/month that’s the NaNoWriMo goal. He said he didn’t so I offered mine. I told her that the temptation is to do the math exactly that way – to divide 50K by the 30 days of November and focus on achieving 1,667 words for each of those days. The problem with that approach is that writing that many words on the first day is akin to learning to run a marathon by going out and running ten miles right off the bat.

Yeah, you can probably do it, but you’ll feel the pain later.

In fact, you might be able to do it for a couple/three/four days – and then the crash occurs. Like my recovery time recently, it’s a natural sequel to going flat out.

Better, I told her, to treat it like that marathon training. Build up a little more every day. Stop before you’re tired, because that energy will translate to the next day. Consider setting up a schedule for NaNoWriMo like this:

1 100
2 200
3 300
4 400
5 500
6 750
7 1000
8 1250
9 1500
10 1750
11 2000
12 2000
13 2000
14 2000
15 2000
16 2100
17 2100
18 2100
19 2100
20 2100
21 2100
22 2200
23 2200
24 2200
25 2200
26 2200
27 2200
28 2200
29 2200
30 2200

By the end of November 30, you’d have 50,150 words. Best of all, by the time you’ve got yourself doing 2,200 words a day, it will feel very easy and natural. Because you’d be in shape for it.

Another great aspect of this method is that if you're feeling like you're "already behind" - with this schedule you're not!