NaNoWriMo'14 blog 2: Getting into the swing of it

3 days in, 3 days of writing complete. A good tally, but not impressive yet. Both years so far I have had a day where I have not written much, and I do not intend to repeat that.

I had a fabulous day yesterday - I wrote over 3,500 words! Does that mean I get to write less today? No, absolutely not. Some people might allow that - especially if their focus is on the '50K in a month' goal. Mine is much more on the 'write every day' goal, and I keep that 1,667 words as a fixture, no matter what happens the day before. Besides, I've done the 50K thing before. I'm not sure I'll hit 100K this year, but I definitely want to beat 65K.

Typically, I had my first 'I'm not sure what happens next' moment today. I engage in what WriMos (the shorthand we use for National Novel Writing Month participants - why use 12 syllables when 2 will suffice?) refer to as 'pantsing'. What that means is that, rather than planning out every beat, scene and page turn of my novel, I sit down knowing where I'm starting, where I'm finishing, and maybe a couple of buts in between, and then I just write. While this works well for me, because it allows me to let the story take control on occasion - though only to a point - it does have the downside of occasionally leaving me at a writer's block.

I've tried many ways of getting out of this, but the best method I have come across is a Word War - a concept I was introduced to two years ago when I did my first NaNo. While I am doing them mostly with myself this year, thanks to the time difference between here and Toronto (where most of my WriMo friends are), they are best done in a group.

Someone sets a duration and offers an optional prompt. (Example: Write for 10 minutes. A giant robot has just arisen from the ocean and wants to devour the world's supply of Monster Munch, but a heroic marketing executive steps forth to stop it. Yes, they often are that ridiculous.) In my case, I disregard the prompt every time, but the aim is to write as many words as possible in the duration set. I can usually average 500 words in ten minutes, and forcing myself to expel words onto the page can get me going in a way not much else can.

For now, however, I'm going to go see if the fourth episode of Gotham is going to keep the standard as high as it has been so far.

David's word count: 7,240