Write Attack! is a timed-writing exercise tool. It's a writing motivational aid, a cure for writer's block and a creativity pressure cooker. Or maybe it turns the familiar welcome mat of the blank page into a paralyzing nightmare. It depends on who you are. (If you're one of the productive "i never have writer's block" in the latter category, or think this is a ridiculously stupid idea, just close your browser, make some tea, and go back to writing your novel in productive peaceful stillness. This program isn't for you. I hate you.)
How it works
It's like a mini-word processor. No distracting bells and whistles like "choosing fonts" or spell-check.
You choose a target word count and a time limit. Then you hit "Start" (or just start writing), and the clock starts ticking. Once the clock has started, copy/paste, drag-and-drop, and--most unnervingly--saving your work are all disabled. Locked out. All you can do is write.
There's a live word count, and an encouraging mascot who will cheer you on, or express consternation if you're falling behind your goal. Right now these guys are borrowed from 'Tetris Attack' for now, but eventually I'll make some real ones...
As soon as you reach your target word count, saving (or copying and pasting into the safe bosum of your Word or Google Docs novel) are all re-enabled, and you can breathe a sigh of relief and bask in your creative laurels. Everyone loves laurel-basking.
However, if you lose focus, obsess over every word, revise, delete (the mascots really hate it when you delete stuff, btw), or otherwise fail to reach your goal... the text ignites and everything you've written is gone in the pixelicous flames. There's no undo, and no secret way of getting it back. It's gone, back to the blank page, try again.
So basically, don't let that happen. It's bad. The goal of this program is not to make you write super fast, but instead to simply make you (or more accurately, to make me) write. Choose time limits that are generous, that you can finish comfortably (if you don't wander off to check the fridge).
There's also a helpful "Nanowrimo" button that sets you up for a day's worth of Nano-writing, too. Once you hit your quota, just copy/paste what you've written into your nano-novel and you'll be finished in no time. Well, in a month, actually.
Download it now!
Visit the Write Attack Project Page on google code for the source code and prebuild.
Mac users, open the DMG and then drag the write-attack app to your Applications folder.
Linux users can build from the source package, you should be able to just check it out and run "qmake" if you have Qt installed.