A Writer’s Trick for NaNoWriMo

So some of you out there may be doing something for NaNoWriMo. More likely than not writing. Or avoiding writing.


Well, I’m not attempting to splurt 50,000 words into a document this year, but I wrote a tool, a long time ago now, to help you write a lot of words without fussing too much over what those words actually were. It’s called Writer.app, and it’s for the Mac.

It doesn’t let you delete — the delete key simply strikes out your text. The goal is to get you to stop using the delete button and get some words to the screen. Stop overthinking your prose and just get down to writing it.

Personally, I find the software useful in the early drafting phase, if I’m not using a pen and paper. But you’re left with your bare bones, oftentimes badly spelled, pedal to the metal text that you can pull into an app like Scrivener or Tinderbox where you can massage it in the editing phase.


In fact, with Butterfly I wrote the entire story down in notebooks, transcribed that mess into Scrivener, and then re-wrote large sections of the book in Writer.app. When I was done with a chapter I would export it to my pasteboard without all the stricken text and paste it into a new Scrivener text document. I’m deep, way deep into the editing phase now, polishing that last draft into something suitable for human consumption (but hopefully not like pink slime), so I’m far away from anything like NaNo and Writer.app, but for those of you who are in the throes of it, well, you’re welcome to it.

It works on Mavericks, as well. At any rate, if you find it useful, I’d love to hear about it.