National Novel Writing Month: 4 Quick Tips for High Concept Drafting

Ok, so maybe you're insane enough to take on National Novel Writing Month, and considering how awesome it is, that's makes you crazy cool.  But I digress.  I've done and won NaNo the last two years, but this year I had to make the tough choice to back out in favor of meeting a tight deadline.  So I'm imparting my knowledge to you in hopes that you carry the torch forth and write some kick-ass, high concept science fiction this month.

The trick to NaNo is to dive in.  Sure, lots of people plan and outline for months ahead of time, but for others the sheer joy of just writing is what makes November special.  I fall into the latter category, so here's some tips for writing high concept when you have no clue what you're doing or where your story is heading.

1.  Be generic - Sure interesting terminology is an essential part of worldbuilding, but maybe you don't know what title your villainous space overlord claims so you call him The Man.  No big deal.  Save that terminological soul searching for revisions.  The Man is fine for a draft (also I claim The Man because it's kind of cool).
2.  Throw in the kitchen sink - The key to writing an insane number of words in a month is to have fun!  Nothing kills your desire to write like getting stuck in boring scenes.  This month focus on the scenes you want to write.  Always wanted to blow up a space ship?  Do it.  Want an alien to speak in pig latin?  Why not?  You can reign it in next month.
3.  Pre-write - Want some basic writing advice?  Spend 5-10 minutes free writing thoughts about what you are going to write.  It sounds like a waste of time, but I can almost guarantee you'll see your word count go up.
4.  Don't get caught in details - Exactly how does a genetic mutation occur?  What exactly is string theory?  Is it possible to build an aquadome in the arctic?  Who cares?  Just write it.  Save all that (important) research for later.

So what's my basic thesis?  Just let go and write.   You may have a draft full of pig latin and space station invasions at the end, but I'll bet you have a lot of fun writing it.


2 comments:

Lily Cate said...

Oooh, good suggestions, and very timely too!
I'm going to need these to get finished!

Emily said...

Thanks. I needed this today. I'm in THE MIDDLE.