Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Writer Roundup: Written? Kitten!

Hello, writerly types, and welcome again to the FridayWriter Roundup!

This week, we're going over one of my favorite tools: Written? Kitten! Those of you familiar with Dr. Wicked's Write or Die will understand the premise. However, Written? Kitten! is a much softer, more user-friendly version. And, unlike Write or Die, there's no option that deletes your words… ever. And that's wonderful. Missing words keep me up at night.

Written? Kitten! is a fantastic tool for the simplest, and sometimes hardest, part of the writing process: getting out the words. Sitting down and plugging away, throwing one word right after the other until you have a sentence. Then a paragraph. Then a chapter. And then, finally, a book. It sounds easy, but sometimes, the motivation just isn't there. Or just isn't stronger than vegging out on TV and video games all day.

You set Written? Kitten! to a certain number of words and begin typing. Once you hit the word count you selected, guess what? You get a kitten! Yes, a cute, fluffy kitten will pop up on your screen to remind you that, hey, writing actually is worth it! That's the sheer beauty of Written? Kitten! Positive reinforcement, but somebody else does all the work, leaving you to plug away at your keyboard.

Now, it should be noted that Written? Kitten! does not, in any way, save your words for you. You absolutely have to, have to, have to copy and paste them into a file that you can save. Otherwise, all the work was for naught. An that makes kittens sad. And nobody wants sad kittens.

"But I don't like kittens!"

Shun the non-believer!

Oh… sorry. Freudian slip. What I meant to say was this: there's a way around that. You don't have to have a kitten. You can put in just about any search term you like, and those are the pictures that pop up. Just modify the URL like this:

Obviously, you would modify it to whatever you want instead of searchterm. It will then pull pictures at random from's 'Most Interesting' category for that search term. There are three built in options that hang out below the text box, down with the word counters: kitten, bunny, and puppy. But, of course, you can do anything. I like chocolate, myself. Nothing better than an endless stream of chocolate floating by on your computer screen, after all. Well, eating it would be better… just not for my waistline.

(If you have a search term with a space in it, just replace the space with '%20.')

Now for those of you out there with different tastes, you can of course use the traditional Write or Die, or the new and improved Writeor Die 2. They've adopted the positive reinforcement model introduced by Written? Kitten!, and I actually kind of love it. Dr. Wicked may convert me yet, despite my love for kittens. There's also an interesting dog based one called Write orBite. It rewards you with a cute puppy picture, but if you fall below your set WPM, you get a picture of a biting dog, instead.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of the Friday Writer Roundup! If you want more, go up top and subscribe to keep receiving these posts.


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