I recently hit the 10,000 word mark on a novel I’ve been working on. It took me FOREVER. And now for the other 90%…
Anyway, I’ve been working on turning off that pesky “internal editor.” She’s plagued me through many writing projects, papers, and assignments. I get out a paragraph and have to go back over it again and again…and maybe one more time.
But everything I’ve read and everyone I know who has published keeps telling me that Ms. Editor needs to shut her mouth during the first draft. I’ve got to get out the story. A beginning, middle, and end. It will probably be a far cry from what I want it to be, but I’ll have the bones I need to flesh out the story I’m looking to tell. Some writers never actually finish their work because of their own internal editors, and I don’t want that to be the case with my series. I feel like the story that’s been spinning itself from my mind and heart down through my fingers onto the computer screen is worth something. I want people to be able to read a finished product.
Recently I ran across a website that I believe will help me kick Ms. Editor to the curb (or at least make her comfortable in the deep recesses of my mind until that second draft, where I will need her desperately.) It’s called WriteOrDie.com.
I gave it a try and in an hour I was able to pump out almost 1500 words. For me, that’s pretty awesome. So what is Write or Die?
First, you choose a time goal. I chose an hour. Then you choose a word goal. I chose 1,000 (which I accomplished in about 40/45 minutes.
Then, you choose your grace period. Forgiving, Strict, or Evil. I chose strict, which I think gave me about 30 seconds before the consequences kicked in. (Forgiving I think gives you closer to a minute and Evil gives you about 10 seconds.)
And then there are the consequences. Gentle, Normal, and Kamikaze. With each consequence the outer screen slowly turns red so you know it’s coming. Gentle is just a box that pops up reminding you to keep going. Normal (which I chose) counts down to screaming babies that just get louder and louder until you continue to type. Now, Kamikaze scared me to death. It begins UNTYPING your work if you stop for the allotted amount of time.
So, if you do well under extreme pressure, Evil + Kamikaze=Crazy Cakes Production. I work better being annoyed, so I think I’ll stick with Strict + Normal. Crying babies can apparently do more for me than make me feel like I’m about to loose my mind.
Check it out all you writers! (And students, too, if you think it would help!)