This most practical for nano, but there is something to be said for even noveling with a far more forgiving deadline, and no word limits.

Ration your words or scenes.

It’s easy to get lost in the overall scope of the novel.  I’m at 40K and I’m still overwhelmed at the thought that the end is near, and my plot is moving along like a turtle.  Rationing words, saying you’ll only worry about say, 3 or 4K a day makes the goal more manageable, and leaves you only responsible for 3,000 words.  It also removies feelings that by some kind of miracle I have to get that 30K written by tonight OR ELSE.

Or I could say, okay, I’m only going to worry about getting all this business about how all the different spirits relate and work with each other (or don’t) and how they operate among humans and other living creatures, and then we’ll call it a day.   And that can easily give you almost 3K right there.  That is, if you don’t stop to give them fancy names in another language.  It has a way of slowing down writing, and dangerously distracting, but it’s fun.

It might also be time to switch writing modes, and who knows what that means: getting off the computer (or for some of the  the more old school typists, you’re Typewriter) for some intimate time with a pen and notepad, writing in the morning instead of the evening (or vice versa), or even writing while slurping a fruit smoothie instead of that bottle of Mountain Dew which, God knows, isn’t healthy for you anyways, or exchanging that stash of Chocolate for  a crunchy granola bar (although, I must confess, I’m sorely tempted to bring out that bag of swedish fish I got and see if I can’t get any more awesome word count action like the last time I wrote and ate).

3 thoughts on “Rationing

  1. I really admire the dedication you have to your craft. I wouldn’t have thought of changing what you’re eating or drinking in order to “switch writing modes!” I’ll have to try that next time I’m blocked.


  2. I have never thought of an analogy that links writing to rationing. I am finding it quite wonderful. I mean, rationing is usually a term that is used when talking about feeding people who do not have the means to buy or acquire food. Or it could refer to a trip someone takes, or getting lost, and the food has to be limited in order to get by.

    It is almost as if you are saying that your final piece, the end product of your story, is the destination, the satisfactory “full” feeling. And it is only through fulfilling a daily portion that you are able to get through.
    And I love swedish fish. Good choice.


  3. I just want to say that I wish you well on your writing project. I know you said that you’re almost done and you feel that your plot is still slow. I’ve been told many times by my professors to make sure you get to the point quickly. I agree about changing you writing modes. I know I personally like to write my stories and things down (paper and pen) and then type them down. This helps me add and change things. And I totally agree with you about the food thing. Good Luck on finishing your story.


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