Four Tips for Achieving Your NaNoWriMo Word Count Goal
November is almost over, and that means it’s crunch time for all of you National Novel Writing Month participants. While writing a novel is the end goal, I’ve found that over the years I’m more obsessed with my word count than I am with actually finishing my novel. I don’t necessarily recommend this method, but I know that I’m not the only one. As a Slytherin, I’m obsessed with achieving my goals even if I have to use slightly questionable methods. Here are a few of my favorite tips to squeeze out those last few words to hit the 50,000-word goal.
Contractions are not your friends.
If you have made it this far using contractions, I applaud you. The first step that I take every year is to cut out all contractions in my NaNoWriMo project. Why use one word when you can use two? Sure, you will probably end up going back and editing them back in, but if this is your first draft of a project, then you will have to rewrite it anyway. Why not pad that word count a bit?
Use descriptions, descriptions, and more descriptions!
Describe everything in great detail. I want you to describe the thing so well that I can perfectly visualize it in my head. Make it so that it’s almost like a painting made up of your words. Instead of saying “t-shirt,” turn it into the “large, brown, cotton-knit shirt with a print of a famous boy-wizard blazoned across the chest.” Descriptions are the key to hitting your word goal.
Use full names.
Always use your character’s full name: first, middle, and last. Why use Tom when you can use Tom Marvolo Riddle? That’s three words instead of one – bonus points if your character has an extra-long name like Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Is it cheating to do this? A bit, but I find that it really helps me out.
Count anything you write.
This option is truly a last resort. When I get to the last day, if I’m a bit too far from my end goal, I’ll resort to this option. Find a way to write anything that you’ve written during November into your novel. Have you written a paper for school? Have your main character write it. Have you written an article for a popular Harry Potter fansite like MuggleNet? Find a way to incorporate it into your story. Had any interesting text conversations or emails? Can you find a way to add your grocery list? Honestly, anything that I write during November could possibly make an appearance in my novel.
What are your favorite methods for upping your NaNoWriMo novel word counts? Let us know in the comments.