Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Word Wars

If you're not familiar with word wars, sometimes called word sprints, it's a challenge to see how many words you can write in a certain amount of time.
I've been "meeting" with a group on a website called Tiny Chat. Someone will set a timer for fifteen minutes and then type "Go". Everyone starts writing and we don't stop until the timer goes off. After fifteen minutes (or ten or whatever) of fast and furious writing we all get back on Tiny Chat and share our word count. Whoever wrote the most, wins.
What do they win? Nothing. Or maybe a shot of confidence, but mostly we all win because we've all got at least a few hundred words to add to the daily word count.
We'll do at least two challenges, sometimes three, and then call it a day. I can get anywhere from 800 to 1200 words in those short bursts of writing, but more than that I find it freeing somehow.
There's no time to judge what you've written or think too hard about word choice, you've just got to write. And for someone who's been struggling to get the entire story onto paper this is exactly what I need.
There is even a Twitter account that does word wars during the month of November. You can find it @NaNoWordSprints.
And if you want to get a little more technical you can use Write or Die. This website will give you rewards, and punishments, for your writing. For example, there is something called Kamikaze mode that will un-write your words for you if you stop typing for a certain amount of time. Yikes! 
You're probably thinking that all of those words written in a frenzy are pretty much crap. For the most part, you're probably right. But with each word war I'm moving the story further to the end. 
Once I'm at the end I'll go into editing mode. To see what that entails, check out Editing Your First Draft. In the mean time, gather some writer friends and try having a few word wars of your own. You're sure to be pleased with the results! 
Ready. Set. Go!

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