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Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Write 50,000 Words in a 30 or 31 Days

     People often ask me how I do it.  "How do you write 50,000 words in a month?"  In response I say, "Writing Sprints."  If it weren't for writing sprints, I wouldn't have made the goal the last three years, (and last year in 18 days).  It's easy when you also break down the 50,000 into daily increments.  For NaNoWriMo in November is 30 days, so it works out 1667 words/day.  The Camp NaNo August is 31 days, so it is 1613/day.
     I've been behind twice so far this month, and I've caught up relatively easy due to sprinting.  I made a sprinting table which is broken down into:  Day 1, 2, 3, 4.... etc.  from top down.  Then on the cross axis, it says Sprint 1, 2, 3...etc.  Then there is a total field at the end of the sprint, and then a a cumulative word total.  What is also helpful, is a calendar which shows the word count you should be at by that point in the month.  
     To sprint, its easier when you are doing sprints with other people, either online or in person.  I do so online through a couple of groups (well more than that) on Facebook.  Someone will suggest a sprint (usually 20 minute intervals), and since a lot of us are not in the same time zone, we put the start time in minutes; i.e. :50 so for me it would be like 5:50, but my friends in the UK it is 11:50, the west coast 2:50, etc.
    If I get behind, I determine the amount I'm behind, divide by the number of days remaining in the month, then add that result to a normal day total, and that is the new minimum I have to reach to get back on track.  Though you can always do more.  I actually divided by less days, making more work,  to catch up quicker.
     So don't despair that you'll never catch up.  Just break down the numbers and go from there, remembering it's a first (rough) draft, no editing, you can skip around and do scenes out of order, and you are free to write the worst junk in the universe!   Sprinting is also good for Editing as well.  So you can keep track by number of pages done during a sprint, or number of paragraphs done.  With these tips, you should be able to finish 50,000 in a month or less!

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