Dr. Wicked’s Writing Lab & Write or Die

Stuck on ending a scene?

Need help getting a chapter started?

Or are you just looking for a little hard core motivation?


If you need help getting started writing each day or if you just like the motivation, Dr. Wicked’s Writing Lab and Write or Die may be just what you’re looking for!

If you answered “yes” to any (or all!) of those questions, then Write or Die might be just the cool tool you’re looking for.

This online word count timer is available free of charge at Dr. Wicked’s Writing Lab. According to Dr. Wicked:

Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences.

Writers can set word count and/or time goals and the level of strictness the system will use, then either write until they meet their goal or suffer the consequences.

That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?

Just for fun, I gave it whirl, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. To be honest, I figured if it got me started writing for the day, it would have been a successful experiment.

Cool Bells and Whistles

This is the landing page. You need go no further to set a time (the round gauge in the center), word count, and level of “motivation”. You can even change the appearance if you want. When everything’s the way you want it, click the Try button at the bottom of the right hand column.


Set word count, time goals, and the level of strictness the system will use, then either write or suffer the consequences!

Here’s where you write. Click on the cursor in the white box and away you go. It’s as easy as that!


The writing screen for Write or Die is pretty straight forward. If you want something more old-fashioned, you can also set it to typewriter mode.

But beware! If you stop, the white writing box becomes pink, then turns quickly to red. If you still don’t start typing, you’ll be punished with a sound guaranteed to get you started again. Some of the stricter settings actually begin deleting what you’ve typed, letter by letter.

write-or-die-screen-shot-04At the end of your writing session, you can copy the text and paste it into almost any word processing program you use.

My Recommendation

Overall, it’s a fun way to get the writing day started. But it’s also a great way to write a chapter or two while keeping yourself focused. I’ve used it to break through writing blocks, end of chapter obstacles, and to write daily journaling entries.

I’ve even used it to write blog posts.

I must be honest. The hardest part of the process is starting. Until you type the first word, your time was your own. Once that first keystroke is made, though, the clock starts ticking down and the word count starts ticking up (as long as you’re writing, that is).

Whether you’re in serious need of motivation or just want to try a cool tool,  give this a try! Serious writer or wannabe, this is a great way to get the wheels turning.

Who can tell what the result might be?

While I like this tool and use it on a regular basis, I do NOT recommend you purchase the desktop version or donate to the organization. The creator is not readily accessible. His blog hasn’t been updated in four years as of this writing and the last post was an apology for not posting.

Anytime customer service is poor or non-existent, spending money with the company is a gamble. I won’t do it and don’t encourage anyone else to, either.

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