Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting to 50,000 words - some tips I have picked up along the way

I will admit that I am slightly behind on my novel, but to catch up I am resorting to writing a few thousand everyday and planning for the next day so I don't run out of ideas.

Getting to 50,000 words is much more difficult than I first thought, and being a first-time NaNo participant I have had to learn some handy tips along my journey for increasing my word count in the same amount of time I always write.

Since I have a really busy lifestyle outside of writing and blogging, I have appreciated each helping tip as I have come across them. Anything to get a few extra words in has been a life saver, and so I thought I would share them with you.

1. Disney Music.

No other music will do. I found this playlist while writing a history essay and it really increased my working pace, allowing me to get the job done in a good time.

I don't exactly know why Disney music works best, but I have tried popular music and some of my favourite artists but all have distracted me in some form. They may work for you, and they may not. But why not give it a go? It is the difference between sitting in silence and procrastinating or getting a good amount of words on to paper and enjoying yourself in the process.

This playlist is AMAZING, because it has pretty much every Disney song you would want in it and you don't have to skip the video if you don't want to listen to one. There are lots of easy tabs you can click to take you to the song of your choice, or you can just let it roll like I do! It doesn't even take that long to change the song if you want to, so you won't lose any precious writing time.

2. Write in white coloured font

This is something I am yet to try out, but it sounds like it could be the thing for me. Writing in white font not only means that you can't see what you are writing, but you can't critic your own writing too. 

It's like not being able to see someone's face - if you can't see them then you can't pick out specific facial features, the colour of their eyes etc... and you can't form a proper opinion.

When you have finished your sprint then I would suggest that you turn your font colour back to normal, just for your convenience. But don't change anything. It may be the case that you have repeated a word or two, but these extra little words all add up.

3. Get character inspiration anywhere you can.

I haven't got a lot of characters in my manuscript so far, but one thing I have done is tried to find the inspiration for them in people I already know. This can be risky, so I tend not to go for anyone I know personally or myself. What I mean is people I know of, but they maybe don't know me.


You may not know it, but British Youtubers are so popular all around the World, and not just in my country. When the weather in England is cold, damp and miserable (that is always, then) us teens stick to what we love and search Youtube for our daily five minutes of entertainment. I was struggling to create the 'lovely heart-throb' in my story and so I used a couple of traits from the young adult boys I watch on Youtube and MY CHARACTER IS BORN.

Let me show you a few examples:

This is Dan Howell (danisnotonfire)
Phil Lester (AmazingPhil)

PJ Liguori (kickthepj)

Charlie Mcdonnell (CharlieIsSoCoolLike)

If you watch their videos then you will understand that they are not just pretty boys. Dan and Phil interact with their fans the most, PJ is imaginative and creative and his videos are like mini-stories, and Charlie is intelligent and does informative science videos as well as his usual stuff. They are all funny and lovely people, and great inspiration for any main male character or love interest. If you want to learn more about their personalities, I have put their Youtube names in brackets, so search them and find a bit of inspiration. 

I admit that I quite liked showing you those people!

Those are some of my tips anyway, so have fun with the rest of your novel and I hope you all do fantastically well!

The Book Critic x


  1. Thanks for this post. I'm struggling through NaNo myself and now I want to go some youtube exploring for my characters (PJ actually looks like one of my characters, so I'm excited to check him out).
    I don't know if I could write in white font. I think it would freak me out-esp. if there were little squiggles under invisible words, but if I get desperate I'm going to give it a try.

    Good luck on NaNo!

  2. Oooh white font...that is at once very scary and possibly quite a genius idea... Once I accidentally put myself in a situation where I had to type without contacts OR glasses, and that was actually *really* helpful when it came to getting the words down. Maybe white font would have the same effect without making me blind to everything else as well!

    Also, I love the idea of getting character inspiration from YouTubers. I think I have done this before, actually--it's really helpful to have mannerisms and a personality to play off of.