Apr 02 2010

Write or Die!

Published by at 3:18 am under Writer's Block

Write or Die is one of my favorite tools to beat writer’s block.  It’s a website that pushes you to write by trying to hold you to a word-goal within a certain amount of time. On the most forgiving setting, it gives you friendly pop-ups reminding you to keep writing if you wait too long.   On “Kamikaze Commando,” it will slowly delete your words if you stop typing for too long.

If you’re a writer that has trouble completing first drafts, I’d recommend checking it out.  So far, I’ve written at least 275 words every time I sat down for 15 minutes.  (If you’re interested, you can read 30 minutes’ worth here).  At that rate, I’d have a first draft of a novel manuscript within roughly 70 hours or a comic book script within 5.

As always, I recommend just getting the first draft down and saving any concerns about smoothness, style, conciseness, coherence or anything else for the rewriting process.  Having a draft complete will make it vastly easier to rewrite because you’ll have a much better idea when you’re going.

22 responses so far

22 Responses to “Write or Die!”

  1. Lighting Manon 02 Apr 2010 at 11:52 am

    Woo, awesome web site. Thanks!

  2. Beccaon 02 Apr 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I use Write or Die for almost ALL of NaNoWriMo… it’s amazingly helpful. We should have a WoD competition! Because I bet I can beat you, B. Mac 😉

  3. B. Macon 02 Apr 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I bet you could beat me, too. 😉

  4. Ragged Boyon 03 Apr 2010 at 6:10 am

    If anyone’s up for another challenge Script Frenzy has already started. I had planned to do that before I got homework for Spring Break. Only one of my accursed teachers would have the audacity to assign work over the break. I’ll also look into Write or Die, it sounds like it can help my lack of drive.

  5. Miss Mynaon 03 Apr 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Oh gosh, that thing is a LIFESAVER for NaNoWriMo. ^.^

    And yes, Script Frenzy is really fun too. 😀 I’m doing it for the first time this year, 42 pages already! *has clearly not left the computer for the past two days*

  6. B. Macon 03 Apr 2010 at 2:59 pm

    42 pages in 2-3 days is quite impressive! I’m doing three pages a day, so I have six done so far and will hopefully have 9 or 10 by tonight. See, this is why I shouldn’t compete with anyone on speed. 🙂

    Would anyone like to add me as a writing buddy on Script Frenzy? My name is (rather uncreatively) SuperheroNation.

  7. Beccaon 03 Apr 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Okay, I will add you B. Mac. Mine is owlsarefun, for some reason.

  8. Miss Mynaon 03 Apr 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Definitely. 😀 I’m MynaOphelia there.

    And it’s 42 pages ’cause I’m working with two other people, but still… XD

  9. scribblaron 04 Apr 2010 at 7:41 am

    Hey B Mac, can I do a guest post?

  10. Kennyon 04 Apr 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I do that on my own sometimes. The only thing I use my stopwatch for (I didn’t use it for over a year until I started writing like crazy)

    Kamikaze Commando would be my hell– scary losing progress for me in any way. In my first graft I REFUSE to delete ANYTHING. It makes feel like I’m getting somewhere.
    On a 5 minute NaNo one I got over 500 words a couple times, I was so proud of myself but, I course I didn’t use any of that because if was so badly written.

  11. B. Macon 04 Apr 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Sure, Scribblar. What did you have in mind?

  12. B. Macon 04 Apr 2010 at 2:26 pm

    Welcome, Kenny! I also have a major aversion to deleting anything in the first draft. I find that it’s much easier to distinguish between what is important/interesting and what is deletable only after I’m deep into the project.

  13. scribblaron 04 Apr 2010 at 2:38 pm

    How to have hero teams tackle single villains. I’ll consider it carefully so I know what I’m writing.

  14. B. Macon 04 Apr 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Sounds interesting. Would you like to send me the article when you’re ready? (No rush). I can be reached at superheronation at gmail dot com.

  15. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 02 Apr 2011 at 8:40 am

    I try to motivate myself to keep writing by putting this acronym at the top of each new page.


    It means “Ass in chair, hands on keyboard, music optional! Keep buggering on!”

    Every time I see it, I check my wordcount. I’m aiming for at least 1000 a day, so if I haven’t yet reached it, I keep going until I have. Once I have, I make notes for the next development and end it for the day or keep writing until I’m too tired to do more.

    Eg: “He put the glass down on the table in front of her, then turned his back again.

    (Note: Stella drinks some of the water and notes that it tastes funny, James just shrugs and acts like nothing is wrong. Stella starts to feel dizzy and falls sideways out of her chair, scaring James. He is not guilty, so make it seem like he is. Remember Sandra is in the room too, so he could be faking his fear to convince her he didn’t do it. Make sure to make him seem guilty so no one suspects the real killer.)”

    Also, I copied all of my latest work into an email and sent it to myself, then logged into email on my iPod touch and copied it into my notes program, so I can add to it while I’m out. I’d recommend that for anyone else here who has an iPod touch – it’s great for when inspiration strikes or you have time to kill while waiting in say, the doctor’s office or for a job interview.

    Making the most of what chances you get to work on it makes about a 300 word difference a day, I find. When I’m making dinner and my laptop is too big to have nearby with everything set out, I use my iPod. When I’m on the train and don’t have space for it, I use my iPod. When I’m laid in bed and think of a good line to add, I use my iPod, which I keep next to my bed for easy access. For any writer looking into getting a new MP3 player, go for the iPod touch. It’s great. Autocorrect can be a pain, though, but that’s the only drawback.

  16. Ragged Boyon 02 Apr 2011 at 9:35 am

    @ Whovian Aaah! Well-disguised advertisement! 😉

  17. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 02 Apr 2011 at 9:39 pm


    You saw through my cunning plan! 😉

    It actually is very good though. It’s the only Apple product I endorse. The rest range from “annoying” to “Oh my God kill it with fire”.

  18. B. Macon 02 Apr 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I don’t have anything against its products–depending on what you’re looking for, they may be the best/most effective items on the market. (For example, I’ve been told that Apple computers generally handle security, video editing and graphic design better than PCs, but I’m not in any of those niches and I’m usually cost-conscious).

    As a marketer, one thing that bothers me about Apple is that its ads present its customers in a rather unappealing fashion. For example, in the Apple vs. PC ads, the guy that plays the Apple representative (Justin Long) comes off as so much of an ass that I feel sorry for the PC guy for having to share a screen with him. (Seth Stevenson has more on that phenomenon).

    Also, Apple mouses and keyboards have been so uniformly unpleasant for me that words can scarcely describe it. I type 100-120 wpm on pretty much every PC keyboard I’ve ever used, and I’ve never gotten above 80 with an Apple keyboard. I type more than 200,000 words per year*, so the ease and speed of typing matter quite a lot to me.

    *Between my comments and my posts on SN, I have almost typed almost a million words here.

  19. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 02 Apr 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I hate Apple Macs… in my final year of school, we got about 300 Macs for our classrooms, and we only had about 50 PCs. Every time our teachers booked some for one of my classes, I would think “Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase give us the PCs! They’re old and slow, but they’re not as confusing or stupid! Please!”

    Mac ads are so pretentious.

    I remember that when I was still in school, I’d have my USB with me at all times so I could steal any chance I got to work on my writing.

    Once I finished early and gave my work to my teacher, then she noticed I was still typing and saw about ten pages I’d written. It was kind of embarrassing – I dislike anyone knowing I’m working on something until I’ve made serious progress, but she seemed to like it. Even though I’d done six pages of research over half an hour and managed ten pages of writing in the same amount of time. XD

  20. B. Macon 03 Apr 2011 at 1:06 am

    At my old school, lines would form for the relatively few PCs even though Apples were available. Apparently a significant number of students (myself included) thought that waiting for a PC was better than using a Mac. That’s how much I hate Apple keyboards.

  21. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 03 Apr 2011 at 2:36 am

    I hate how right-clicking on a Mac is impossible. The operating systems suck, too. Sure, I hate Windows 7, and I prefer Vista (waits to be shot for saying that) but I’d rather use Windows 7 over Mac OS X.

  22. Cool don 03 Apr 2011 at 5:40 am

    I’m okay with apple, I’m using a mac and an iPad to post

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