I'm over at From the Write Angle today with my final (probably) post on Twitter hashtags for writers. One of the tags I mention is #nano. As most of you know NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month where a bunch of crazy writers (like me!) attempt to write a 50k first draft in 30 days.
As part of NaNo, there are word sprints to help you maintain the pace. If you follow @NaNoWordSprints, you'll see there's almost always a word sprint going on. Word sprints are timed 'races' where you try to get as many words time during the time limit - anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour from what I've seen. There are no prizes in this race - well, except a boost to your word count.
I don't always announce that I'm joining a sprint on twitter, but I often race along with the other writers. It's fun to see how the word counts match up.
Those in charge of the sprint will often throw in a dare or a challenge - things to add into your scene. Lost sock. Karaoke. Someone is killed on or by roller skates. Or maybe the dare will be to add in a challenge word - like alien or debris.
I rarely take up the dares because they don't usually work for my story, but they often make me smile. Last year one of the challenges was to add in a wild animal. My character was driving through the mountains and that dare added in a great scene about a run in with a moose. So, sometimes they do work out well. Regardless of the dare, the sprints are fun!
Have you ever tried word sprints? Do they work for you too?
(If you have time, I'd love to have you join the discussion over at From the Write Angle!)