6 Ways to Maximize Word Count During JuNoWriMo


If you’re one of the participants in JuNoWriMo, writing 50,000 words in 30 days, you know that the end of the month is closing in. We have only 9 days left!

I hope your writing is right on track, but if you’re a little behind, don’t lose hope yet! There’s still time to pick up that word count and make up whatever ground you still have to cover.

On that note, I’ve got some tips for getting those words in. Let’s face it, there are ways to increase your word count that are not so healthy to have as writerly habits. Included in the list of Worst Ways to Pad Word Count are: copying and pasting a block of text multiple times, adding needles obscenities as adjectives before every noun, have a character repeatedly experience intense déjà vu, omitting hyphens, etc.

Padding Your Word Count – The Good Way

But there are other ways to boost your word count that can actually help you better flesh out your story.  I present the following list, as my personal gift to help make your JuNoWriMo as successful as possible.

  1. Outline – Did you neglect your prewriting before June? Has your story arc changed since then? If your story’s began to slide down a slope to who-knows-where, now might be a great time to regain some focus. Type your outline in your novel, and suddenly you’ve added both words and direction.
  2. Add character descriptions – By now you probably know more about your characters. What they like, what they don’t and who they want to kill at the moment. Writing a character description will help both your clarity of background info and your word count.
  3. Write deleted scenes – You know the scenes that won’t make it into the final draft because they don’t advance the plot and the ones that happen before your story begins. But just because they don’t happen in the book doesn’t mean writing them won’t help your story. Sometimes allowing yourself the chance to delve into back story helps to enrich your main story. Remember, you can always delete them (or move them to another file) after JuNoWriMo.
  4. Write another point of view – The story is all about your protagonist, which is where most (if not all) of your points of view should be focused. But writing a scene from another point of view might be incredibly eye-opening. You may even spark an idea of something you want to change.
  5. Say it another way – Don’t like the last sentence you wrote? Try it again. And again. But don’t bother to erase the mess-ups. They’ll count for you and also give you options when you go back to edit later. You don’t even have to decide which way you want to say it – JuNoWriMo is the perfect opportunity for indecision!
  6. Add sub-plots and tangents – When editing your story, you’ll whittle away the fluff and the unnecessary plots that muddle up your main story arc. But it’s JuNoWriMo! This is the time to get out all your excess ideas. Let your characters roam where they want. It’ll only help you get to 50,000 faster.

I hope these ideas help. Now get back to it. Happy writing!

Related Posts:

What is JuNoWriMo

Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month, part 1

Discovering Inspiration: National Novel Writing Month, part 2

 

 

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  1. #1 by EmmaMc on June 22, 2012 - 9:02 am

    Thanks for these tips… last night I was flagging a little and was starting to wonder how on earth I’m going to finish writing the 20,000 words in a week. I think it was partly the inner critic coming out.

    • #2 by Becca Campbell on June 22, 2012 - 9:41 am

      Yeah, well don’t give up! There’s still quite a bit of time left. Also, get in on the Twitter sprints–that REALLY helps get serious word count in a short time.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. #3 by Donna B. McNicol [@donnabmcnicol] on June 22, 2012 - 8:46 pm

    I’m saving this for Camp in August….great tips, Becca!!

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