Write Or Die Changed My Life

This one is for all of you writer’s out there, but especially those of you braving NaNoWriMo. I’m going to tell you about a tool that literally (and I do not use the word lightly) changed the way I write.

Write or Die is a program where you set a word count goal and a time limit for yourself. The you write. If you stop writing for too long, the screen turns red and a horrible noise starts playing and then you see pictures of spiders. It basically forces you to keep writing.

There’s a desktop version you can buy that has additional features, but you can also use the free version on the website. I have the desktop version, because I use it so much. about 30,000 of the 50,000 words I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo were done with Write or Die, so at least for me it works.


Query Critique 28

Dear Agent,

I have recently completed a Young Adult Thriller Manuscript, I don’t think thriller or manuscript should be capitalized. Definitely not manuscript. consisting of 65,000 words. I read your listing on [here] and [here]. My manuscript titled PROPHET’S GAMBIT, is a dark plot-driven thriller that borders on horror. Based on your interests, I think my manuscript might be what you’re looking for. I think this paragraph could be tightened up a little. “PROPHET’S Gambit is a Young Adult thriller complete at 65,000 words. Based on your interest in…” And I’d maybe move it to the end, since your hook is so grabbing.

17-yearold Daisy Fitzpatrick has doled out more death sentences than the Texas Prison system. And, it’s going to get her killed. Great hook.

Daisy’s a famous teenage psychic with a controlling, alcoholic, stage-parent of a mother. She’s not allowed a cellphone, computer, not even a TV. She has to sneak out just to see her best friend. Years of death threats have turned Daisy’s mother into a warden, sheltering her from the world outside, that is, when she’s not forcing her to do interviews. I feel like there are quite a few pronouns in these sentences. Daisy’s gift, seeing a person’s death in freaky detail, makes her a target.

For ten years Daisy has been a media spectacle. Her gifts are exploited by her mother. I’m a little confused. Her overprotective mom put her in the spotlight? Why would she do that? Little did either of them know that the spotlight would put both of their lives at risk. When a cryptic letter arrives and warns Daisy that a cult, The Order of God’s Temple have focused their efforts on her, her life is thrown into turmoil. Even Daisy isn’t sure she’ll make it through the month alive. I think the stakes need to be a little more established, and I think the best way to do that is by elaborating on how big of a threat this cult is.

Since I know you are actively seeking Young Adult, I am writing to ask if you would be interested in reading more of my material. I think it sounds a little smoother to just say “The completed manuscript is available upon request.”

Thank you for taking the time to read my query, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. This is a multiple submission.


Grave Business


So as I was kicking off my NaNoWriMo sprints today, and realized that I did a video for the Writer’s Life hash tag like a week ago, and never posted it on my blog.

If you’re interested, you can watch me in all my vloggish glory.

And I am tagging YOU! Let me know in the comments if you make your own video.