5 Unconventional Tips for Creative Writing (without ChatGPT) 

Predictable, flat AI-generated texts drain your soul? Squeeze out your 86 billion neurons with some pretty great, creative and original text with an unconventional approach to creative writing


By Gaia Giordani.

While many great authors think the road to hell is paved with adverbs, it is actually studded with generative AI tools. They can help you achieve a decent text, also a good one, in a few seconds. But creative writing is something else, agreed? This is why training youself in the lost art of creative writing adds a superpower to your creative skills, unreplaceable by LLMs. Here are some unconventional techniques and “under the radar” suggestions for writing creatively like a PRO.

5 unconventional tips for creative writing (without ChatGPT)

1. Clear your path

Get rid of obstacles, starting from the most common ones: writer’s block. If you freeze in front of blank digital or paper sheets, you can rely on two amazing resources to overcome it. Keep The Writer’s Block: 786 Ideas To Jump-start Your Imagination on your desk. The book comes in the shape of an actual block, and it also serves as a piece of stationary art. And take inspiration from the masterpiece “On Writing” by Stephen King. The maestro of horror itself believes that the scariest thing is the first page, so you’re in good company.

2. Take a leap of faith

One of the greatest Italian directors, Federico Fellini, had a pretty quirky view of creativity and used to challenge critics and movie fans by saying: “Don’t tell me what I’m doing; I don’t want to know.” When writing is very important, being in the dark means not knowing exactly where the act of writing will take us. The same director used to say, “The film is made in the head, now it must be shot” (a variation of the same concept is also attributed to the master of Nouvelle Vague, Jean-Luc Godard). Applied to writing, it means that once you know your subject or plot, writing becomes a technical process to put it down on paper. Easy to say if you’re a skilled writer, but if you’re not a professional, here are some tips and techniques to spice up your writing while enjoying the process.

3. Paint with words

Follow the golden rules of Italo Calvino’s “Six Memos for the Next Millennium”, which were a series of lectures that the Italian author was supposed to deliver to Harvard students in the early 80s. These rules are summed up in a bestselling book and outline the essential qualities of a good text: lightness, quickness, exactitude, visibility, multiplicity, and consistency. Despite being half a century old, these remain relevant. One of the most visionary is the visibility rule, which emphasises that words have the power to stimulate the imagination. As a result, the words that you carefully pick from a vast vocabulary, including slang expressions, can actually create a beautiful picture in the reader’s mind.

4. Prompt yourself

RISEN is a prompt framework for text-to-text AI like ChatGPT that you can use as a checklist. R stands for Role, I for Instructions, S for Steps, E for End goal and N for Narrowing. Give yourself a role: pretend you are an author you like and try writing in their style. It’s an easy way to train your “writing muscles” until you develop your own voice. Next, set basic instructions to follow, consider the purpose of your text (is it a review? Is it a brilliant caption for a post on social media?) and the audience of your writing. Finally, establish any constraints, such as word count (is it a 5.000 words essay or a summary of your project?), and stick to them. It works like magic if you don’t have a writing routine or if you struggle with writing consistently.

5. Get smart

Neuroscience doesn’t lie: handwriting makes you more brilliant because typing and handwriting activate different brain patterns. While using a keyboard is faster, handwriting has been proven to boost connectivity and learning. Also, dictating a text by voice using a voice-to-text app could be an interesting experiment, as the brain parts involved in oral language and writing are different, and it could lead to more creativity in podcasting than in writing.

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