NaNoWriMo Day 4: Word Sprints

Four days into NaNoWriMo, and my word count stands at almost 8,000 words, nicely above the official goal of 6,668.  But I haven’t had a really rough day for finding writing time (or inspiration) yet, and I know at least the first issue is coming soon.  Tomorrow, in fact, when I have a work event in the evening, so I’ve been building up a cushion consciously.

And I’ve mostly done it with Word Sprints.  They’re a thing in the NaNo world–taking a set amount of time to write as much as you can.  No distractions, no wandering off to check the NaNo forums, just write as many words as you can until the time is up.  I like 15-Minute Word Sprints, and I literally set the timer on my phone.  Something about the timer makes it feel official, and I do better at sticking to it.  And I always check my word count afterwards, to see how it went.

I have to say, it makes such a difference trying to write in a set period of time.  If I have an hour, I can easily find myself writing a few sentences, drifting off to something else, drifting back to the writing eventually, drifting away again…you get the idea.  But if I take it in 15 minute chunks, I’ve been averaging about 400 words per sprint.  And I like it especially because it’s not (too) hard to fit 15 minutes in before work, on my lunch hour, into the evening…it gets words written in short periods of time, and that’s a big win.

And not just random words–in that almost 8,000 words I’ve introduced three major characters, explained the concept of Observing and even traveling into other universes, crash-landed one spaceship, invented several alien species names (just don’t ask me for details about said-aliens) and dropped in a reference to Shakespeare.  Because if I feel confident about anything being true of the galaxy of 2,000 years from now, it’s that we will all still be reading Shakespeare.  🙂

Now, have an excerpt, from a scene with my two major Terran characters.

“Come on, let’s see if we can find another pirate coat.” Lark handed the leather coat off to Aza and went burrowing into the depths of the tightly-packed racks of clothes.

Come on, let’s… Aza wondered how many times Lark had said that to her over the years. She folded the coat over one arm and flicked through the clothes hanging on the outer edges of the stall. ‘Come on, let’s’ usually got her into the kind of trouble she never would have found on her own. But it was always worth it.

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