NaNoWriMo Day 5

10904 / 50000 words. 22% done!

So the words, they have been terrifying. I only managed to get in my quota of words (~1700, regardless of how well or badly I’m doing) by doing the following:

1. Figure out the next single thing that needs to happen.

2. Write it down.

3. Start to surround it with beats. I thumb-keyed my beats in on my iPhone.

4. After writing about 200 words worth of beats, go eat.

5. Return and write the scene, fleshing out from beat to beat. You may not use all the beats, you may add or even alter beats, but the point is that you now have some structure!

This is like the “quick-grow snowflake” method.

I’ve also been using this “beat sheet” to do some impromptu revising without actually revising all the words. Basically, you read the scene that needs to be rewritten carefully, and then you rewrite just the beats.

What’s a beat?

It’s basically what you would take down as notes if the scene were being played out in front of you in class. I haven’t found a better definition or explanation that isn’t overwrought.

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