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Thursday, October 22, 2009

NaNo Ammunition

A must-read form Merc Rants... the complete guide to NaNo ammunition. :)

I stockpile cold water with ice (it keeps me awake), mint tea, sugar cubes, pumpkin seeds (High in zinc! Apparently that's a good thing...), and small candies of the Pez persuasion.

I have a writing playlist with music sorted by mood: angry, depressed, vengeful, celebratory...

I even have a secret weapon: Write or Die

Past experience has taught me that my biggest stumbling block to speed is perfection. I stop to edit while I write. Usually, it isn't a major change. It's pausing to retype a misspelled word, or add a comma, or separate a run on sentence. But every time I run back to change a spelling I get distracted and lose the flow of the novel. The characters ramble on ahead, and then I have to drag them back, replay the scene, and everyone gets cranky.

To write fast I've found the best solution for me (and it may be different for you) is to turn off the spelling and grammar check on Word or to use Write or Die. When I'm doing that I can easily hit 500 words in ten minutes. If a scene is flowing well I can do nearly 1000 words in 15 minutes. And if I could keep that up I could hit my daily word count in under an hour of writing.

But, if writing takes longer, my back-up secret weapon is: take a break.

Five minutes of yoga, pilates, jogging down the street, anything physical to get me out of my chair and give my hands and eyes a rest. Physical activity is important, your brain works better with oxygen (imagine that!).

Now, you tell me, what's your secret to writing fast?


  1. I'd never heard of Write or Die! That souns cool And I'll have to try it!

  2. This is one of the most important blogs I've ever read.

    I know that's a big statement, but I have just written 1024 words with write or die in 48 minutes. This is such an ideal site for me as my over-achiever attitude will not let me lose.

    Thank you so much for posting this link!

  3. Barb- Glad you liked it!

    Writtenwyrdd - I love write or die! It's great for keeping you on task and meeting your goals without dawdling.

  4. Write or Die is going to be the difference between finishing and writing like 2 words. Thanks for that.

  5. Ever since I read Stephen King's On Writing, I've written the way he suggests - never look back. I literally don't stop at all. If I do something wrong in a paragraph, I'll actually type out between a certain symbol (that I can search for and remove, like **) a note to delete the previous paragraph when editing, and then just rewrite the paragraph.

    The thing that stops my flow? The names of secondary characters. I hate when I have to stop and look them up. This year I'm using a character Excel worksheet and hope that will do the trick!