Write or die functionality?

No
Noah Brand
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Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:48 pm Post

I've recently begun using the remarkably simple and effective motivational tool at this website: http://lab.drwicked.com/writeordie.html

Essentially, you set a word-count goal or a time limit, and once you start writing, you have to continue. If you stop typing, the screen starts warning you by growing an increasingly ominous red, and if you pause for too long, it starts playing any one of a number of godawful sounds. That's in regular mode. In kamikaze mode, it starts erasing what you've already written!

It seems goofy, but it works remarkably well. Problem is, all you can do in the web application is plain text. That's great when I'm writing prose, but when I'm writing scripts in my beloved Scrivener, it's all too easy to just do anything BUT write, as I'm sure my fellow scribes will understand.

The code for the web application seems relatively simple; is there any way a similar function could be incorporated into future versions of Scrivener? I feel like it would fit well with the slightly funky and eccentric feel of the program, and god knows it'd help me get things done...

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KB
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Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:08 am Post

I have heard of that program, and it does sound fun. However, with regards to Scrivener... I don't really think it is Scrivener's job to provide motivation or force its users to write. Don't get me wrong, I could do with a big kick up the backside myself, but I think this sort of thing is not really within Scrivener's remit...
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Keith

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janra
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Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:13 am Post

It sounds like the sort of thing that would make a plugin, if Scriv ever were to support those :-) (And no, that isn't a request.)

Write or Die seems to be right on the border between novelty and potentially useful application. Especially the threat to erase what you've written if you don't keep moving. Yikes!

Of course, you can get around it by tapping the spacebar occasionally while you're thinking.

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Sirmausalot
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Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:28 pm Post

How about something that turns off internet access?

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Hugh
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Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:34 pm Post

Sirmausalot wrote:How about something that turns off internet access?


Are you seeking Freedom? http://www.literatureandlatte.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5610

H
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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AndreasE
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Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:52 pm Post

Oh, please, no.

A tool like this might help to get through a momentary block, but they should be considered like medicine: Take them when you're sick, not as part of your daily nutrition.

Basically, the motivation to write should come from the story you have in mind. That's my understanding. If even the writer has to artificially motivate himself to write that thing, who will ever read it? (Maybe someone's going to invent a "read or die functionality", but then I'm out of the game... :evil: )

Every serious writer I know must rather be motivated to get out of his (or her) chair, not the other way round... :wink:

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werebear
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Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:09 pm Post

I'm sure it's fun as an exercise, but the last thing I need or want is nagging.

In my experience, wishing for external nudging, especially the extreme kind, is just another form of avoidance. In something like this, it would be avoiding thinking about why we are not doing something we should find pleasurable.
WereBear

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Loremaster
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:43 am Post

The Write or Die functionality sounds interesting, I think I'll try that program for the next NaNo.

Having an optional "Words per Hour:" calculation displayed in the statistics bar would be nice - motivational without nagging.

It's the only feature request I can think of after a year of Scrivener use. 8)

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robertdguthrie
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Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:07 pm Post

I'm of the mindset that a stick is less desirable than a carrot, or in this case, a kitten: http://writtenkitten.net/
Often wrong, rarely in doubt.
Time for a change... I'm now rdale; same dog-avatar, same dog... channel?