Disclaimer: These are not tips for good writing. However, it’s the middle of November, and if your word count needs a boost, you may find these ideas helpful. Just don’t forget to fix it all in revision. ;)
Names: give all your character double or even triple names — Betty Lou or Nanny Lola or Master Sergeant Bob. Every time you type a name, it’s at least a two-fer.
Chapter Titles: Name every chapter descriptively, like so: Chapter Seven: In which Nancy tells Sue Ellen a Secret, Heather Loses a Toenail, and Officer Joe discovers something Terrible in the Bathtub.
In-line Annotations: Don’t waste perfectly good plot and character notes by placing them in the margins, comments, or a separate document. Stick those things right into your text. You typed them, didn’t you? They count! And when you go to rewrite, BAM!, there they are, exactly where you need to be reminded of them.
Description: If your characters don’t want to talk to each other and nothing much seems to be happening, describe the surroundings while you wait for the muse to come back from her coffee break. It’s not a full description until you’ve included at least one sensory detail for sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Throw in the weather for good measure. Soon your characters will be chatting and moving just to break the monotony. Bonus: You don’t need to remove all of these in revision. Having at least some of them is actually good for your story!
As-you-know-Bob: Although instances of this info-dumping-disguised-as-dialogue must be excised in your later drafts, having characters tell each other things they should already know is a great way to bump up a sagging word count. Bonus: Sometimes having your characters discuss these things will actually make the resolution to a plot problem come clear for you, the writer. And then you can get on with more exciting words for your next writing session.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and write…
Photo Credit: Dand8282
Got it. My two main characters are now Master Sergeant Billy Beau Jim Bob McKenzie, Jr. and The Right Honorable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Alabama, Bobbi Sue Ella Mae Jenkins née Smythe-Harrington.
One as-you-know-Master-Sergeant-Billy-Beau-Jim-Bob conversation would put me right over the limit. :)
My next post will be about how to write macros for character names. I can see *some people* will benefit from that.
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