I realize that I just pointed to some writing tips from Clive Thompson, but here’s another post with some more. Thompson makes his first drafts look totally unlike anything that could be mistaken for something official. For instance, he starts the sentences of those drafts with hyphens and lower case letters and ends them with two forward slashes.

But when I write in my strange style, the sentences and paragraphs just seem like jottings. They’re Lego bricks I’m combining and recombining see what shape they might make. Words written with no proper casing and punctuation seem much easier to tear up and revise. I get less emotionally attached.

The problem with his particular method is that markdown turns hyphens that begin a sentence into bullets. For that, he suggests using a tilde, instead. However, Ulysses treats a tilde as a special character as well. In some text editors, it might be best to come up with your own conventions along the same lines as his.1

One Weird Trick For Writing A First Draft | Clive Thompson

  1. I’m using an equal sign in my trials of this method. ↩︎

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