This is NaNoWriMo Support's page for tips and hints. To use this page simply write a tip to share with everyone else. Follow the pattern below please:
Tips from [Ash]:
1) Don't be to weary about spelling! Get your word count in then worry about spelling worry right. As NaNo's not going to actually read your novel, you may not even end up doing this (note: if you put it up on the WC, spell check and edit or we will find you).
2)Oops, you miss a semicolon! It's okay, edit when you are done with a section or chapter. Editing 50,000 words at once is overwhelming. Doing it periodically means less work in the end and you can see another opportunity to toss in 20-30 more words per standard printer page.
3) Think thin! Getting your main plot out is important, so skip on all the lush details until you have added your skeleton, then add guts, then you can add flesh. This will make sure your novel not only makes more sense as it's plot oriented, but challenges you to get more dialogue in.
4) Take a break! Taking a break is a great way to make sure you are not wearing yourself too thin. Becoming angry at your novel is no way to finish something you will even tolerate.
5) Shake up some background noise. While writing also turn on the TV, have someone over, or have the music on. Though you will write less, you may find new inspiration for down the road or in earlier chapters.
6) Remember, keep going! It is hard to keep writing, so just force yourself to get down 100 words, 200 words. If you can muster it, get down 1,000 words, just keep writing or you'll never finish.
7) My writing time is important! If you have a busy schedule, classes, spouse, then set aside at least a half hour to give to writing each day. You may not make your quota each and every time, but you will get something put up which is far better than nothing.
Tips from [Annie]
1) Don't get stuck up on names and details. You can think of the perfect, mysterious, thrilling, chilling name for your main character when it comes to you. If you don't just want "FirstName" to be a placeholder until inspiration sparks, try using your favorite actor's or actress's name. The chapter titles are also completely irrelevant unless they play a major role. Save them for later.
2) Repeat stuff. To get that massive word count, don't be ashamed to use the ancient ploy of repetition. He said she said may be a negative quality in the Limp Bizkit song, but it's a great quality in NaNo. Repeat things whenever you imagine that there's even the slightest chance that the reader might feel like flipping back to reference the info in the actual book. ;)
Tips from [Veltzeh]
1) If you are stuck somewhere, an easy way to get forward is to introduce a new character. You might end up with an army of characters, at which point you can get even more words in by starting to kill them. Of course, with many characters, there are always more people you can switch to write about, which gives a lot to choose from. And pre-existing characters can meet and induce some great drama.
2) Another easy way to get more words is to just write a massive "infodump" of something you know a lot about, and then somehow integrate that with the story.
[Tyr Zalo Hawk]'s Tips of Typination
1. No one likes a quitter, and quitters think rehab is cool. I'm not sure where I was going with that metaphor, but I think the main point is something like: when all else fails, just keep writing until something happens. Remember, all plots lead deathward (according to White Noise
), so, if you want to avoid death, avoid a plot. Plots are nice and all, but sometimes you just have to write and see where it takes you.
2. Don't be afraid to describe, or to use multiple viewpoints to describe the exact same thing. Infodump is cool and all, but nothing's cooler than going over the color of every single car in the six story parking lot ;)
3. If your plot ends up being too big for 50k, or even too small, that's OK. Ever heard of a thing called a series? They're amazing. I recommend looking up a few -> Recommended Reading
4. On Characters: Sometimes, just start with a name. Make it ironic, make it tight-fitting, make it sexy. After you've got that, the rest'll usually just fall into place. After all, in fiction, character names say more about a character than any single other piece of information... at least until they do something.
5. Forget about what's been done before, who's done it, and why. This isn't prime-time television, no one cares if you're original or not, we just want a wordcount.
6. Write how you talk, not how you read. It's so much easier to do dialogue, description, and just plain everything if it's your OWN voice. So, if ya talks likes this, then writes that way. And ifeth you talketh likest this, then writeth that way. You get the point.
7. If all else fails, follow this simple 3 step program.
1. Write your autobiography.
2. Add superpowers.
3. Kill off the main character in the middle of the book, and watch your hitcount soar.
General consensus: Info dump as much and as often as possible. If you can write a manual.