How keeping a writing practice list can increase your NaNoWriMo word count
Today is the seventh day of NaNoWriMo and, amazingly, I’m on track with my word count! But I need to plan ahead for the rest of this week because, starting tomorrow, I’ll be attending the Story Masters writing intensive with Literary Agent Don Maass, author and writing mentor James Scott Bell, and Chris Vogler, a Hollywood development guru and author of The Writer’s Journey.
I’m super excited and blessed to be able to attend this event but that also means I’ll have to find snatches of time for writing to make sure I stay on top of my Nano goals. We’ll have writing opportunities in class and an evening gathering of fellow NaNoWriMos so that will help. My plan is to break it up in 500 to 700 word segments until I reach my goal for each day.
I’m also making a Writing Practice list (ala Natalie Goldberg). These are ideas that pop up as I’m writing that I add to an ongoing list and that become writing topics for later. I call it my WP list.
Yesterday, as I was doing a timed write on one subject for my novel, a slew of thoughts and ideas bubbled to the surface that I didn’t want to stop and explore right then, so I added them to my list. Here’s what they look like:
1. How does a lightning storm look and feel like from within?
2. Describe how Mt. St. Helens looked and felt when I was there.
3. Imagine Lily near the mountain when it went off. Write her experience. Use all five senses.
4. What was G’s secret mission for L? Why did it fail?
5. What device could contain L’s power?
6. Is L immortal? What would happen to the world if he was mortal? List ways in which he could be mortal.
You get the idea. All of these topics will give me plenty to write about and much of it will fall into my novel, adding to my word count. And each time I write on a topic, more ideas will come up that will need to be explored. I just keep adding them to my list.
Exercise: As you craft your work-in-progress, make your own Writing Practice list. Pull it out when you don’t know what scene to write next or when you need to add to your daily word count.