While these tips mostly go towards NaNo, they are good for ANY writer at any time.
What happens when I change my mind halfway through my word count for any given day?
Nothing. You just keep writing. Even if certain elements of your story have changed, you can keep writing. Don’t allow yourself to get bored with what you are writing and think that a change would be the right way to go. If you do change your mind about your plot, don’t panic, just be sure to find more time to write until you get caught back up.
Can I skip a day of writing and catch up the next day?
Well, you can – but the better question is – SHOULD? No. You should make every attempt you can to make sure you are writing every single day. You want it to form a habit. If you take a day off, it makes it very easy to take the following day off, and continue on with that pattern until you find yourself so behind that you can’t possibly catch up without sleeping for two days.
I didn’t quite make my word count goal for the day, is that bad?
It’s not good, but it’s also not necessarily bad. If you are just a few hundred words off, you can probably make those up pretty quickly, but if you only wrote a few hundred words, that isn’t fairing well or setting a good standard for the rest of the month. Do everything in your power to meet or exceed your writing goals, daily.
This chapter is going nowhere, even though I know what’s going to happen next, what do I do?
You write. There is absolutely nothing that says you can’t skip around from chapter to chapter or scene to scene. Write a scene that is playing on your mind heavily. You will probably get a lot of words down if you are in the mode to write, and if there is a certain place in the story that your characters seem committed to, go ahead and write them. You can always come back. A few years ago, the first year I won NaNo – I tried something I hadn’t done before. I wrote the beginning and the end first. I even wrote about three different scenes in the middle of the book. THEN I went through and filled in the gaps. It made writing so much easier.
Do you have any questions about anything? I’ll do more like this tomorrow.
My word count at this point is just over 3K – I’m a bit behind where I want to be, but I’m not going to bed yet. Just brewed a fresh cup of coffee, I am hoping to do some maneuvering with a few scenes before bed.
Where are you at?