Wednesday, October 8, 2014

[my writing life] gamify my writing: word sprints & dice

To refresh my writing brain and learn new skills, I've been reading a lot of craft books and scoping out author blogs. I'll be sharing some of my favorites soon. Today, I want to share another way to gamify writing.

This week: Word Sprint Dice

Standard word sprints entail choosing an amount of time (ten minutes, twenty minutes, etc.) and writing nonstop, typically using a timer.

To add a dash of the excitement, I combined timed word sprints with dice rolls. 

Here's a sampler from the Spousebot's collection. Mixed sets can be bought in game shops, your local comic book store, or online. (I love this pink set!) You probably have some six-siders already at home from board games.

A few ideas:
  1. Roll one die, write for that number of minutes. 
  2. Roll one die, multiply by 10 or 100, write that many words. (Ex: Rolling a 6 = 600 words)
  3. Roll two dice, the first being the number of minutes, the second being the word count goal. (Ex: In the picture below, I'd write for 16 minutes, with the goal being 400 words)
  4. Roll two dice, the first being the minutes you sprint, the second being the minutes you break. (Ex: In the picture below, I'd sprint for 16 minutes and then take a 4 minute break)
  5. Create a list of scene ideas. (Ex: Guy walks in with a gun; Lead character reveals a secret) Use the dice to randomly choose which one to use.

For timers, I love the one on my phone, which I usually combine with the Final Fantasy Victory Fanfare, or my trusty R2D2 kitchen timer

Happy sprinting!

Gamify My Writing
two | word sprint dice
three | TBD

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

[my writing life] gamify my writing: word sprint cards

Every time I start a new writing project, I'm back at square one. Maybe because it's been months since the last time. It's a long process for each step: brainstorming, outlining, drafting, editing, editing again, submitting. By the time I circle back around it feels like: Okay, here we go. ...How do I do this again?

I'm taking the time to refresh on the basics and learn new things. One new thing I wanted to try was gamifying my drafting. Drafting is my least favorite stage of the process. I quickly start feeling discouraged and dragged down by it. I wanted to experiment with ways to make it more of a fun challenge.

This week: Word Sprint Cards

I got this idea while admiring the way people keep track of their fitness goals on Pinterest. Some use marbles and jars, or clothespins on string, to count pounds lost. Others use popsicle sticks to get through daily exercise reps. It seemed like a fun way to mix things up, and gives a physical and visual method to tracking goals. (Plus: art project!)

I used what I had, but you could use just about anything. I varied my sprints between 10 and 15 minutes. If I completed them all, it would add up to 4 hours. 

If you make these yourself, please share a photo with me. Happy sprinting!

Gamify My Writing
one | word sprint cards
three | TBD

Sunday, September 28, 2014

reads: sept 2014

one | Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

two | Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

three | Mitosis (Reckoners #1.5) by Brandon Sanderson

four | A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) by George R.R. Martin

five | | The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa


adult: 1
   1 fantasy

ya: 4
   1 fantasy
   2 sci-fi
   1 paranormal (dystopian)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 sept 2014

3 memories

  • my birthday: my family sent me some amazing gifts, including a Wii U from my brother! the spousebot & I spent many a fun-filled hour playing mariokart 8 this month
  • trying new recipes: I tried cooking with flaxseed and kale, and experimented with leftovers. there were some misses along the way, but also some tasty victories. 
  • querying NINTH: as the responses trickle in, I'm grateful for the experience of completing a manuscript that I can be proud of

2 obsessions

  • Scribblenauts: I loved the Wii U version so much (Unlimited) that I bought the iPad version. this weekend, I'm hoping to pick up Unmasked.
  • flaxseed: great in smoothies (my fave breakfast smoothie: soy milk + banana + peanut butter + flax seed)

1 looking forward to

  • fall: we don't get fall weather here but the grocery stores still fill up with tasty seasonal favorites. this month, I want to do some cooking with pumpkin, and I look forward to watching some favorite Halloween movies. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

reads: august 2014

one | Between the Deep Blue Sea and Me: A Novel by Lurline Wailana McGregor

two | Ruins (Partials Sequence #3) by Dan Wells

three | The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

five | Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

seven | #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso


nonfic: 3
   1 business
   2 food

adult: 1
   1 fiction

ya: 3
   1 dystopian
   1 contemporary
   1 sci-fi

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 august 2014

3 memories

  • getting an early birthday package from my mum: snacks + food + angry birds stickers
  • hunkering down during hurricane iselle: curling up with the spousebot and catching up on tv  series
  • entering pitch wars: meeting so many writers and mentors via twitter. anxiously awaiting the results!

2 obsessions

1 looking forward to

  • my birthday: i don't have anything special planned. just looking forward to having an excuse to eat cake and shop online.


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