Word Sprints and Word Wars
Sprints are pretty simple in concept. You pick the length of time you want to write, set your timer and hit the ground running (you can also reverse it, pick a word goal and time how fast you can complete it).
Wars are almost identical to sprints, except you are competing against another person. You pick the same length of time and race- whoever gets the highest word count wins. If you don’t feel like warring with another person, you can do a ‘time trials’ version where you compete against yourself.
Carrot and Stick
This can fall into the sprinting category, although technically you can use it anywhere. This is a very simple reward/punishment premise. You set a goal (for example, 500 words in 10 minutes), and then you have a reward or an punishment hanging over your head (perhaps if you meet your goal you get to watch an episode of your favorite show. If you don’t then you must do the dishes). This can also come into play with your daily word goals.
The Fifty-Headed Hydra
The challenge: to write 500 words in 5 minutes. Legend has it that the creator of this challenge made the attempt and the only correctly spelled words on their paper after the carnage were ‘fifty’ ‘headed’ and ‘hydra.’ Obviously spelling doesn’t count. Word of advice: don’t use the backspace, just start flying and correct things later. This is an insanely difficult challenge, but it’s fun when you are speeding so fast that you can’t get too far into your own head.
Word Crawls are some of my all-time favorite writing games. Anytime you are in a slump they can help you bump up that daily word count. For those who aren’t familiar: word crawls are interactive, narrative-style writing games. They run you through a plot and carry you through a variety of writing challenges. Often they are themed- sometimes they’re original story lines, but more often they follow a favorite book, movie or TV show trope. Here you will find an assorted collection of ones I’ve created, as well as popular ones I’ve come across (with full credit to their original creator).