Three Weird Old Writing Tricks for Make Better Productivity

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Next Stop: Wordcountsville!

In attempting to ratchet myself back into the daily writing game, I’ve been drawing from my old bag of tricks and coming up with new ones. There are 1,001 ways to spur yourself as a writer, from prompts to time limits, but here are a few I’ve been using lately…

The ridiculous working title. Fashions in titles come and go, from synopses to twee run-ons to The Evocative Single Word. My current story-in-progress has a ridiculously literal description of the story at the top of the page. Whenever I see it, I giggle, and that tends to break the tension. Whether it’s “Robbers Get Robbed But Good” or “The Girl So Bad at Yoga That She Died,” they tend to refocus me.

Too small to see. I do variations of this all the time, but in essence, it’s dropping the font to 2pt, or something like that. It lets me see the relative lengths of lines without being able to worry about content. Requires substantial editing afterward, more so than trying to write a good draft as you go, but that’s the same as any “produce lots of words” method.

Fuckity fuckity Communists reaming whales with Ku Klux Klandlesticks. This method will naturally not appeal to everyone, but sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll (try to!) let my id off the chain and write absolutely nonsensical things that violate taboos or rules of propriety. The resulting prose has no bearing on the story, but it’s more engrossing than “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” and spewing juvenile blasphemies will sometimes break the dam and get things rolling again.

I assume the above tricks aren’t unique to me, but good luck with your writing in any case, and I hope they may be of help.

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4 thoughts on “Three Weird Old Writing Tricks for Make Better Productivity

  1. Very cool. Personally, I dislike the “freewrite” (2pt font) but use it for freshman comp students all the time. I love #3….I always have trouble deciding when to use a $5 curse word….too many and they lose their punch, too few and you lose the punch of them.

    • I go to the freewrite, or font change, or font size change pretty regularly. Foul-mouthing it rarely seems to produce anything useful, but it will occasionally shock me onto a roll.

    • Neat trick! I also sometimes switch from print to script to mix things up. Or, occasionally in Word I’ll select a symbol font, and then switch it back to Roman characters after the day’s writing.

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