November 12, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Day 12 - Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead! (and other clichés)

After a week full of distractions and abstractions, last night I was finally able to buckle down and write no less than 3,700 words. I'm still far from catching up to where I should be by now, and I'm resisting the urge to go over what I've written for fear that it'll be an awful mess, but for now I'm feeling rather optimistic about my prospects.
One thing that has helped me move forward is choosing the path of least resistance. If I feel like working on a scene that comes much later in the novel than where I am - either because it requires less research, seems more fun to write, or is already sketched out - then I just work on it. This method might come back to bite me on the ass when all that's left to write are complicated and hazy scenes, but that's something for future me to worry about. There's also the possibility that I'll reach the 50,000 word goal before getting to those scenes because, though I've written more than 50 pages so far, I still feel like I'm only scratching the surface of the material I have. Maybe this book won't be as short as I thought it would be.
John O'Hara at his desk
In other news, I just saw Galleycat is posting daily NaNoWriMo tips. Many of them are only relevant to a few writers, but some are worth glancing at. On day 3, for example, they suggest using cliché finder to weed out hackneyed phrases from your writing. The problem with the site is that you have to do it manually, meaning you have to suspect that something is a cliché already before checking to make sure. The worst clichés, however, are the ones we use all the time and are hardly aware of. A far more useful tool would be a website or program that scans your text and points out the clichés contained therein. Come on, computer and language geeks, there's your next million dollar idea - get on it.

Clichés contained just in that last paragraph:
  • in other news 
  • worth glancing at 
  • weed out 
  • million dollar idea 
  • get on it

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