I made a post over at NaNoWriMo.org with some tips that have helped me get to the 50,000 word goal in the past. I thought I would repost them here. They are equally useful whether you are writing a novel for NaNoWriMo or creating a game for NaGa DeMon.

Here are some great tips I have used in the past. Most of these came directly from Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo) and his No Plot? No Problem! book.

  • Tell people what you are doing and brag about how totally successful you will be – that way you run the risk of embarrassing yourself if you fail! (There is nothing like fear of failure to drive you on!)
  • Don’t tell your work colleagues what you are doing. Every sick day and every minute you spend on the computer they will assume you’re actually doing NaNo. Which may be correct, but you don’t want them to think your skiving!
  • If you get stuck on a scene or detail (or just hit a boring part you really don’t want to drag yourself through) make a note in a different colour or ALL CAPS and move on. You might get back to it, but you will probably will just plough on to the end of your novel and that magical word count goal. It’s a great alternative to stopping your momentum to go research something.
  • Use a character’s full name or title wherever possible. It might sound like cheating, but it gives you two words (or more!) where you might have only had one! And to be honest, it doesn’t sound completely stupid as you read it back. This was a concept from Baty’s book that I thought was completely stupid, but it works!
  • Don’t edit. Just DON’T. And don’t spend too much time re-reading yesterday’s writing. Just get on with today’s word count!
  • Suck. As Mur Lafferty says, you are allowed to suck. This is a first draft and the goal is to finish it, not make it perfect. So don’t worry about writing perfect prose – concentrate on getting your ideas, in all the messy, random, ugly glory on the page.

These are ideas that have worked for me. I hope you get some mileage out of them!

– Nathan