Call Myself a Writer?

September 21, 2009

Rediscovering Write or Die

Filed under: NaNoWriMo,Writing,Writing Help — trishtash @ 9:25 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Yesterday, in an attempt to break my writer’s block, I wrote some stuff which will eventually become a short story to be submitted to Wyvern Publications as a Mertale, using the wonderful web application Write or Die.

I first discovered this last November during my first NaNoWriMo, though I didn’t use it as I didn’t actually feel the need.

Write or Die forces you to keep writing by turning the screen red if you stop for a few seconds. If you have the sound turned up (which i didn’t) it also plays irritating music. You can adjust the grace period from ‘forgiving’ to ‘strict’ to ‘evil’, so that the red screen/music kicks in sooner or later, and you can also adjust the mode. In Kamikaze mode, for example, the program starts to ‘unwrite’ what you’ve written. I found it effective enough to set it on the lowest settings (forgiving and simple) and managed around 3,500 words in a couple of two hour writing sessions, so it had the required effect.

You can use it for works in progress as it prompts you to copy and paste during use and also after you’ve clicked the ‘done’ button. It keeps a word count – though I found that this diminished significantly after I’d pasted it into Open Office, but never mind. I still wrote more than I had for months.  If you want to use it for timed writing, you can do that too, as it has a timer.  Or just go in and start writing till you run out of steam.

Whether I’m pleased with the actual output is a different matter, but I’m sure that’ll improve. I’m just out of practice, and anyway, that’s what editing’s for. I just need to do it regularly and hope the quality stuff emerges (again) sooner rather than later.



  1. Do I really need another program loaded onto my computer that will give me a headache? I already have Microsoft for that purpose.

    Anyways, I don’t seem to have a problem generating ideas, or even with word counts. It’s just the knowing-when-to-stop that I need to work on a bit – which is why the one-month limit of NaNo is perfect for me… I’ll have no excuse that “I need another eighty thousand words for this story.” (I’m determined to complete my novel in November).

    Comment by bigwords88 — September 21, 2009 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks for commenting 🙂 You’re my first one.

    It’s web based so you don’t need to load it anywhere. Just go to the app, click on ‘write’ and off you go. I’ve only just started using it now because I need a serious kick up the backside to get me writing. I wasn’t using it during NaNo last year because I didn’t have a problem then – in fact I wrote TWO novels in the 3o days. Ah – happy days.

    Good luck with the novel 🙂

    Comment by trishtash — September 21, 2009 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  3. ha ha ha. i might just try that one! hey thanks for dropping by my blog by the way, i didn’t know you wrote one!

    Comment by Candy — September 21, 2009 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Candy. I’ve only just started really. Had one a while back but I updated it so infrequently it had cobwebs 🙂

      Comment by trishtash — September 21, 2009 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  4. I’m going to register for NaNoWriMo this year too. I think I have the essence of the germ of an idea, and this WriteOrDie you speak of, I think I looked at it once, and I think it might be just the thing. It might help with other things as well. One can only hope.

    Comment by Faltarego — September 29, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  5. Hey, that’ll be great. There is something very special about being a NaNo (or is it a WriMo?). There’s a lot of camaraderie among the participants, and you’ll love the forums. We also get encouraging emails every few days from famous published authors, which are full of useful tips and advice on how to keep going. We can be buddies, too. I definitely felt as if I was part of a big group of mad people doing something really mad and weird. And I wrote 50,000 words! Okay, I did that twice, but when you see how many words some people manage it’s not that impressive (like the 16 year old who reached a million words. Eek!)

    Comment by trishtash — September 30, 2009 @ 1:13 am | Reply

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