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NaNoWriMo 2012: Bonus Episode 4, with Mary & Brandon

NaNoWriMo 2012: Bonus Episode 4, with Mary & Brandon


[Mary] This is Mary Robinette Kowal.
[Brandon] And this is Brandon Sanderson.
[Mary] And we're into week four of NaNoWriMo, and here is your peptalk.
[Brandon] Pep. Pep, pep, pep, pep.
[Mary] So you're tired. You're tired. You're thinking you can't possibly keep going. You've got some ginormous problem.
[Brandon] Have ninjas attack.

[Mary] Ninjas!
[Brandon] Ninjas.
[Mary] Ninjas are good. There's also the... Add another character. Other characters. That always adds additional word count. Take them to a different scenic location.
[Brandon] Yeah. I really actually like this. Not speaking slowly. The scene that you're writing right now, if you're having trouble with it, put it someplace unexpected. Do the exact same thing, but do it... As I said in a podcast that will be coming up, put them in a hot tub or something like that. Change it to a really cool, interesting location in your fantasy or science fiction world or whatever it is, and try writing it there. Try to have the same things happening, but with a cooler setting.
[Mary] Yeah. The other thing you can do is, because... You know, in a lot of ways, NaNoWriMo is about practicing. Pick something that you are having trouble with and decide to practice that. So that, you know, whatever senior in, it's like, "I have trouble with dialogue. This scene is about dialogue."
[Brandon] Yep. Do a whole dialogue scene. Or do, you know, the scene where you force it to be written from the perspective of someone who doesn't have access to one of their senses. Or write it from the viewpoint of someone who's wildly different from yourself and practice that. I've got a... You know, I'm gonna write it from a child's viewpoint, because I've got to practice writing children. Pick something that you want to work on.
[Mary] Yeah. The other thing to remember with NaNoWriMo is that your goal is to hit 50,000 words. You don't actually have to finish the story.
[Brandon] Right. And they don't all have to be the same book.
[Mary] Right.
[Brandon] You can do something completely different and just say, for the purposes of NaNoWriMo, this was one book. Yes, they're on different planets, but...
[Mary] And have completely different characters, and...
[Brandon] Yeah.
[Mary] 5000 years apart, and gravity...
[Brandon] I tell you what, it won't be the worst NaNoWriMo book ever written.
[Mary] Oh, no. No, no, no. Not at all. You can also take a scene that you have already written, and write it from a different character's point of view.
[Brandon] Right. Yeah. You might be behind, but you will be surprised if you galvanize yourself this week and just start going. You'll be surprised at how much you can do. Famously, I was trying and struggling to finish NaNoWriMo back in 2002. I wrote the last scene of The Way of Kings that week, over Thanksgiving. I ended up getting so excited, I... My record still, I wrote 16,000 words in one day, when I was working on that. It's... It'll happen to you, if you'll just let yourself get into it. You may have vacation coming up, if you're in the States, for the holidays. Use that. Write some books. Do spend time with your family. But also write some books.

[Mary] Yes. If you get really desperate, here is a tool for you, You get a picture of a kitten for every 100 words you write.
[Brandon] [laughter]
[Mary] Sometimes it's the simple things that keep us motivated. Kittens!
[Brandon] Keep it up, guys. You can do it.
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