The NaNo forums are up and busy. So many threads! So much to think about, laugh about and wonder about.
How do you reward yourself when you reach 50,000 words? I keep writing until the book is finished or time runs out. The book is the reward.
How do you punish yourself if you don’t make 50,000 word? Huh? I can’t imagine being so driven or something like NaNo being so important that failure merits punishment.
How many words should there be in a chapter, and how many chapters should my book have? A chapter should have as many words as it needs, and a book should have as many chapters as it needs. In other words, when you get to the end, stop.
What are your favorite tricks for upping your word count? Only one trick, alas. Write what needs to be written, whether it’s rounding out a character or filling gaps in the plot.
How do you get to know your characters? Umm. Spend time with them, maybe? Figure out why they’re doing what they’re doing and why they’re doing it exactly that way. Watch how they interact with the other characters, how they react to what’s going on in their lives.
Outlines kill creativity, don’t they? No they don’t, unless you treat them like rule books to be followed exactly as they’re laid down. Digital outlining isn’t anything like the horrors we endured in school. They’re flexible, and they allow you to be flexible. They’re supposed to function as guides to keep you from getting lost, not chain you to a straight line down the middle of the road.