With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner, those of us who are readying to participate in the 50k word endeavor are probably sweating bullets. If you’re like me—a full-time college student juggling a heck-ton of work and just trying to keep your mental health intact—trying to get those 1,667 words a day between, well, everything else, is the hardest thing to do in that month. But what if I told you that you could write that daily word count in an hour?
Write What You Love
Or, write what you are really, really interested in. Don’t stick with a story that you continue half-heartedly. As M. Kirin talks about in their vlogs, writing is supposed to be fun, not a chore. They encourage their viewers to figure out what they love and incorporate those things into the story. This has been something that hits home for me over and over, and sometimesI still struggle with it. A good way for me to figure out what exactly I would love to write about is by asking myself, what is it that I get excited to read about? What is, as Sarah B. from Smart Bitches, your reading catnip? If you have that figured out, then you definitely have an idea about what you love to write about.
You Have to Have the Blueprints
Once you have an idea of what you’d love to write, you have to do the dreaded pre-work. The world-building, the plotting, the character development, more plotting. Rachel Aaron, writer of 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love, described how she went from having a good day of two-thousand words in six hours, to days with ten thousand words in the same amount of time. One of the factors she first realized was that she hadn’t done any manner of planning. By doing this, she avoided both writer’s block and a grueling overhaul of the story. If you’re more like Rachel (or me), you may already be doing a bit of this. Even if you’re a pantser, there is a lot you can learn from just planning. Even sketching out a scene right before you write for the day will help tremendously. Take it from someone who learned the hard way about planning, even if it’s just a sketchy map, it’ll still go a long way.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you have a story idea you love and you have the planning all done, you have to sit down and write it. A story doesn’t write itself, after all. Sure, ghost writing is a very real thing, but you want to break the 50k goal by the end of November, right? A lot of writers, including myself, bemoan about what little we’ve done for the day. My friends who are taking creative writing courses often complain to me about needing to write. Instead of doing the actual writing, they hop on Facebook or Tumblr. Before they know it, the night is gone, and they’re churning out five thousand words last minute. It’s not fun. 0/10, not recommended. Set aside some time, find a non-distracting workplace, and write.
So, with all of these tips in mind, blow that 50k right out of the water! To read more on raising your word count, pick up Rachel Aaron’s 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love off of Amazon.
Meet the blogger:
MORGAN MILLER is an undergrad of the Hamline University Creative Writing program. Fiction writer by impulse, she explores any and all genre of fiction she can, but her focus is in the fantasy genre itself. She is never seen without a notebook, pen, and something with pockets.