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It’s almost November.  For some people that means getting ready for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.  For a lot of writers, it means it’s almost time for NaNoWriMo.

NaNoShieldNaNo is great for getting your words flowing.  It’s great for turning off that inner editor and just writing, letting the story get told from beginning to end.  Sometimes, though, you can get hung up on details if you suddenly find that you need to know something you didn’t research ahead of time.

So what do you do if you’re writing an historical story, or fantasy, or some other story where swords show up and you haven’t reasearched them?  First, don’t stop to reasearch!  Save that for later.

Instead of stopping to find the proper weapon type, losing time and momentum, use this trick.  Where the type of sword and possibly a description should go, put in a bracketed phrase that you can use for a search-and-replace sweep later.

Here’s an example: “Barney drew his [type of sword and description of blade] and charged forward with a bloodcurdling scream.”

Later, once your story is ended and you’ve had time to study up on your weapons, you can search for “type of sword” and replace the bracketed phrases with proper names and descriptions.

In January we’ll be starting a database of bladed weapons to help with this kind of reasearch.  If you can’t wait or can’t find what you need there, you can also drop us a line through our contact page or by leaving a comment on a post, and we’ll see if we can help you get the information you need.

Happy writing!

Here’s my page on NaNo Planning if you’re still gearing up: NaNo Planning 2013