I briefly mentioned it last week in my post on Prepping Your Novel, but I thought I should give the free software Write or Die a little more attention.
Originally developed for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) to help people with reaching their daily word counts, Write or Die 2 is basically a carrot/stick motivator for writers. You set your goals into it, and then if you stop writing for a period of time it will give you negative stimulus like horrible music and images of spiders, or if you have it in positive mode it will play nice music that will fade away and stop playing unless you keep typing. Either way, it’s designed around a Just Do It! philosophy, and meant to keep you dumping the contents of your brain out on the page.
Having played with it for a few weeks now, I have to say that I really like it. I have used it for planning stories, writing stories, and even writing blog posts- in all cases my goal being to just pound out a rough draft and then go back and fix it later. I found it especially helpful when I was brainstorming, because it’s the perfect Freewriting software that literally forces me to just dump my thoughts on the screen for a certain amount of time without stopping. I keep my copy in Kamikaze Mode as well, which means that when I stop typing, it starts to erase vowels from newest to oldest, so I really don’t have a choice but to write and get my words down. I’m not sure if that’s the best mode for writing stories, but for brainstorming it’s amazing. There are also no distractions when you’re using Write or Die, because you can’t afford to check your mail or think about other things- just write. (or die trying!)
In fact, I liked it so much I bought ($20 normally, $15 with discount code) a desktop copy for my PC. I did this for two reasons- the first being that I wanted to support the author and thank him for such a nifty piece of software. The second was more practical, though- you see, I read elsewhere that during NaNoWriMo the free web-based version often goes down due to overload, and I didn’t want anything to keep me from using this tool when I needed it.
So, if you’re a writer, or a wannabe writer, I’d heartily suggest investing in WriteorDie, unless of course you’re the type of writer who’s prone to do this…
Then you may want to reconsider.