Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 - Day Nine

(Heeeey, 30%!)

We have talked quite a bit about characters and plots, but we have yet to discuss the mechanics of how to write during NaNoWriMo (Camp or otherwise), so I am going to dedicate a few entries to discuss that.

I am not sure how I feel about a lot of the techniques people use to up their word count. After all, a good novel should be as brief as possible, while NaNoWriMo (or, shall I say, National Novel Writing Month) really encourages building a word count. While writing is writing, there is also something to be said about at least trying to write something good when you have a certain level of experience. Take this journal entry, just as an example. I am trying to make it as wordy as I possibly can, using longer idioms and useless words such as “really” or “shall I say”. Yes, my word count is going up, but my prose is also suffering for it. This paragraph will sound flowery in the end, and certainly not the way an actual person would ever speak.

That is why I am a bigger believer in making the writing as interesting as possible rather than making the writing as wordy as possible. After all, assuming that 1667 words will take the same amount of time, I would much rather write 1667 words that were filled with drama and romance and were interesting rather than 1667 words in one scene that was mostly boring. If you are going to be writing anyway, then why not try and have some fun with it?

This is not to knock the technique; writing is writing, and it is good. However, the next time you sense yourself reviewing your novel to take out contractions and add as many words as you can, reflect on why you are doing that. Is it because your novel is boring you? Then perhaps it is time to change that, and not how you write.

TODAY’S PLOT DEVICE: Try and include your favourite song. Lyrics, playing in the background, just a casual reference to it—just try to add it to your story!

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