Sunday, June 17, 2012

Getting Words on the Page

The blank page.

White space.

Just there.

Staring at you.

Waiting.

For you.

The writer is the one with the words, the one who has the drive to sit down and fill up the blank page.

With something.

Anything.

Doesn't have to be good.

Not that first draft.

It just has to be.

And oh, there's the rub.

Sometimes when I write, I have an idea, a thought, maybe even a line, that compels me to put it down. Whether that blossoms into something else, like an actual story, is another matter.

But it all starts with getting words on the page.

I'm not going to know if that's a story worth pursuing unless I get words on the page. I don't know if that's a story I can fix unless I get words on the page.

There are various tricks I use to get words on the page. Rewards are good. Especially cupcakes.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo to those in the know) was a really great kick in the pants to get words on the page (even though, nearly three years later, I am still revising that novel).

A couple of other tricks to help writers get words on the page have come to my attention and I thought I'd share them.

The first works on the reward model. No, not cupcakes. Kittens. You get kittens.  Written? Kitten! is a website where you get a picture of a cute kitten for every X amount of words you write. You can set your writing goals starting at a minimum of 100 words. And then you get a kitten!

The second works on the punishment model. Write or Die comes from the evil mind of Dr. Wicked,  just so you know what you're getting into. There's a fancy version that you can buy for your desktop or as an ipad app, but there's also a freebie web version. What you do is set your word goal, your time limit, and your punishment. It can be a gentle pop-up telling you that you need to get writing, or if you really need a kick in the tush, put it on kamikaze mode where the words you already have start deleting themselves if you're not meeting your goal. Yikes!

So what do you do to get words on the page? Reward or punishment?

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