Forum Friday: Tricks for writing at a faster pace

This is the second year I’ve done Nanowrimo, and less than half way through the month I realize: hey. 1700 words a day is not anywhere near as hard as it used to be! I asked myself, What have I changed? and What am I doing right? and realized that this– tips for writing at a faster pace– would make an excellent subject to open up to other writers!

What do you do to keep the momentum? Large or small scale– what tricks and methods help you write at a faster pace?

A couple things that work me:

  • Large scale: outline. Sweet hippopotamus, OUTLINE. I had an outline last year, too, but it was woefully vague and required large amounts of cutting and rewrites all through the month of the November (which, as you might imagine, really slowed me down). This year I went into it with every chapter planned in bullet points: had the bones down, but left myself room for natural developments. It’s worked much better.
  • Small scale: placeholders. Whenever I get stuck on something– a bit of pacing here, a town or event name there– I’ve been either writing a generic term (i.e., “pacing” or “school dance” or “club”) and highlighting it to come back to, or I’ve written in whatever nonsense I came up with at the snap of the fingers. You can always go back and fix placeholders when the first draft is finished. (And who knows. You might even end up liking something. Muffin Wars.)

Bonus image: