NaNoWriMo Week One is nearly complete. You might be behind (like me), on track (as I have been in the past), or zooming ahead (as I often have been in the past). No matter where you are in the fleet, your goal is the same: to get as many words in as quick a time as possible. Now, you could order robotic hands that type faster than you can think— those are sometimes fun. You could grab another person and have them type at the same time, theoretically doubling your output (but producing two separate novels). Or, you could participate in a word war.
Word war, word sprint, word fiesta— they’re all the same thing. You and anyone else participating make a pact, a pact to rid the world of procrastination, and fight to the death the war of words. Or party the heck out of it, if you’re doing a word fiesta. Your choice, bro.
Write as many words as you can in fifteen minutes. Try not to stop until the time is up. Force your brain to work overtime as your fingers speed over the keys, thinking barely faster than you can type. You might not know what the next sentence will be, but you’ll run with it. This is the essence of a word sprint.
Compete against others. Compete against yourself. Set records for how many words you can write in fifteen minutes. Discover your word-per-minute rate and try to make it faster. Compare your final count with others and feel that sense of pride that comes with winning, or the sense of despair and desolation that comes with second place. Decide to do better. Take a break, and start again. This is the essence of a word war.
Write crazy plot twists and strange dialogue, because you can’t think of anything else to do! Often, these spur-of-the-moment ideas and terrible thoughts bring about big changes to your story. The plot twist nobody expected— it’s more of a surprise if you never expected it either. Waltz through the story with a blindfold on, stepping in unimaginable kinds of goop and splattering it onto the page. This is the essence of a word fiesta.
No matter which type of activity you choose, they all have the same basis: write as much as you can in fifteen minutes. Where do you find companions with which to sprint, battle, or party? That’s the easy part. You can battle while someone else parties. You can party while they sprint. All it takes is someone to say Go and Stop, and a place to communicate in real-time.
Ta-da, the word war chatroom, which has existed since basically forever. We started it three years ago for just this purpose. Since then, it’s gone through some changes and seen some people come and go, but its purpose is the same. Come in and write in company. (more…)