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.

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