The most important thing to remember when writing under pressure, whether it’s during NaNoWriMo, or a deadline for an editor, is to keep the words flowing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, You cannot edit a blank page. You have to write the crappy words first, then go back and fix them.
This is where freewriting comes in. You probably know freewriting as a tool to help you decide what to write. It’s also a way to keep the words flowing when you get stuck.
Let’s say you’re trucking along in the middle of a scene. Words fly across the screen until, suddenly, everything comes to a screeching halt. You don’t know what happens next. It feels like you’ve run headfirst into a brick wall. At this point, you have two choices. You can stop writing to think about the problem and wait to be unstuck. Or, you can keep writing.
How do you keep writing if you don’t know what happens? By freewriting about all the possibilities until one sticks. Think of it as talking to yourself on paper. You’ll still be generating words (though you’ll have to cut them later) and you won’t break momentum like you would if you got up and wandered away from your desk. You may have to write several junk paragraphs, but the next idea will show up, often much faster than it would if you took a break.
Keep the words flowing. You can do it!
For more tips on getting the words out for NaNoWriMo, check my post: Write Away
Good luck and happy writing!
- Weekend Assignment: Countdown to NaNoWriMo – Making a Scene
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