Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Kick starting writing

Kate Hardy has found a new toy to help concentrate your mind when writing the first draft --Write or Die Note to Kate whose soundcard does not work: it is a grating sound and you are forcibly reminded...

The basic premise is that you set your word count, and time. Then you set Dr Wicked as either gentle -- a small reminder, normal -- blazing lights and sound, or kamikaze -- will eat your words. You type your words into the box. When you falter for more than a few seconds, you are met with your reminder. The only way to stop it is to start writing again. Apparently there is a surprising demand for the kamikaze mode. So a step up from the alarm clock trick as it actually senses when you are not typing.
This is all about writing, rather than editing.
Bad pages can be fixed. Blank pages need to be written.

Does it work? Short answer: yes, it focuses your attention and forces you to write rather than worrying about the correct word. However, when you are a terrible typist like me, it comes as a shock that you just have to keep typing and not worrying about the spelling etc. It does make for interesting editing, but once I got the hang of it, quite enjoyable.
I am going to try using it for my current wip and seeing if it helps bring some of the joy back into writing as I was amazed at how much time I spend editing, rather than simply writing after doing the exercise properly. But it is only a tool. And it is only good for the first draft.

In other news:
After being ill for two weeks or so, yesterday, I finally started rowing again. Even though my time was slow, it felt good to be doing something again. The Cold has really knocked me around.


Donna Alward said...

No rowing or exercise of any sort for me. My chest feels like a squeeze box. I'm taking a day off.

Kate Hardy said...

Glad you're feeling better. But take it easy and don't overdo it, OK?

And glad you enjoyed the tool (thanks for telling me re the noise).