Sprinting Tools – Part One – Fighters Block

As NaNoWriMo looms upon us, I’m creating a series of blogs over the next couple of weeks with a recent discovery which has helped me achieve more words in a month than I have managed to produce in a very long time.

I’m quite competitive in nature and I adore a good old sprint. If you’re anything like me, you’ve shouted out on Facebook, Twitter and whatever other forms of social media where you have good connections with other authors and asked someone to sprint with you, the highest word count wins. It truly helps me to keep focussed on that task for the agreed time, usually 30-60 minutes.

That said, I’ve found it difficult to pin down a time and a person to sprint with me.

I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a reference to sprinting websites. I honestly knew nothing about them, but there are tons! Some free and some paid for.

This is part one of four I have used. Fighters Block is by far the simplest design.

You arrive at this page…

Select your character, the monster you wish to battle and your word goal for the ‘fight.’ I think there must be a minimum amount of words you can put in the goal box, because I’ve experienced issues getting in when I’ve placed a low number in that box.

We then move into the action. I logged in from this device and the work I’d previously done was there. I haven’t found a place to sign up or had to provide any details at all.

The next screen is ‘the battle ground.’

The green bars below the ‘fighters’ slide in real time depending on how fast you’re typing. It can either be a great motivator to watch it move, or a horrendous distraction depending on works for you! But luckily you can hide it and turn the screen into a blank writing space. Personally, I’m not entirely sure what the point would be in that case!

Talking of functionality, there is plenty of them which we can see in the picture below.

This menu is accessed by the cog in the top right hand corner of the page. I haven’t managed to work out the difference between ‘monster speed’ and ‘monster attack’ though they both appear to be able to slow or speed up you progress bar depending on how quickly you type.

There are a range of fonts available, mine is set to ‘roboto’ as well as an ample plethora of text sizes and themes as well as widescreen and thin screen. The arrow pointing upward is what you would use to hide the sliding scales and characters from view.

Admittedly, this is a nice, simple and functional site. Also it’s free.

I’ll be honest and let you know that this was my least favourite out of all the sites available out there. I thought there could have been a better visual cue on how you’re getting toward the end of your goal, such as your character moving toward the monster rather than the sliding scales! I’d love to hear your comments on what you think of the site, even better if you can suggest some for me to take a look at!

I have three more sites to present to you, so if you’re interested please make sure you sign up to receive e-mails when I post.

If you want to check it out for yourself it’s here: https://cerey.github.io/fighters-block/

Thanks for looking! 🙂

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