NaNo Advice- Word Sprints/Wars are Your NaNo BFF

Whether you are looking to catch up, right on target, or trying to get a bit of a buffer built up, Word Sprints and Word Wars can be your BFF during NaNoWriMo.

Word Sprints are timed bursts of writing usually 10/15/20 minute intervals, where you try to write as much and as fast as you can.

Like a free-write, you have to try to fill up the entire time with writing, giving you a good couple hundred words (at least at the end of the sprint)– Sweet! Add that on to the word count! @NaNoWordSprints on twitter, organizes word sprints pretty much all day, every day during NaNoWriMo, so following them along on Twitter helps too. They give some fun and interesting prompts and write along with you during the sprints. It’s a fun and interactive way to do something that you could do alone if you wanted to.

Word Wars are when you do a word sprint with a friend or group of people to see who (or what group) can write the most in the allotted amount of time.

These develop a friendly sort of competition between writers to see who can write more, but it is also really motivational. My friend Tracy and I had virtual write-ins last year where we had word wars. She always beat me, but I watched my word count grow, and that’s felt amazing. After a couple of them, I had met (and sometimes surpassed) my daily goal of 1667 words.

You know that annoying mid-month slump?

Word wars (and some plot ninjas) have helped me out of that by getting me talking to other writers and forcing me to write through my writer’s block/exhaustion/etc. They help to focus and keep on writing that novel of yours.

I like to go into word sprints/wars with the following:

  1. A glance over the last scene/chapter I have written— just so I can keep on with the flow of the story. I don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes doing so, or I am tempted to edit.
  2.  As I glance it over, I like to develop somewhat of an idea of where I would like to go next. What can I do to push my plot ahead or get my characters further from or closer to their goal?
  3. When I have an idea, I set the timer on my phone (if I am doing word sprints by myself) and just go!

The most important thing to remember during words sprints is to have fun!

And write, get absorbed in your story! Don’t stop writing until the timer goes off! Then look at all of the wonderful words you wrote during that time and do a happy dance.

happygoat(that is one very happy little sheep)

Have you participated in Word Wars or Sprints before?

Did they help motivate you? What was your experience?


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