Crawford's Slip Writing Method

Crawford's Slip Writing Method is a creative writing technique developed by Michael Crawford, a writer and creativity consultant. The method involves writing down ideas on small slips of paper and then shuffling and rearranging them to generate new and creative combinations.

The process of Crawford's Slip Writing Method typically involves the following steps:

  1. Write down individual words or phrases related to the topic or theme of the writing project on small slips of paper.
  2. Shuffle the slips of paper to create a randomized order.
  3. Draw several slips of paper at random and arrange them in a new order.
  4. Use the new arrangement of slips of paper as a starting point for brainstorming and developing new ideas.

The goal of Crawford's Slip Writing Method is to encourage free association and to break down mental barriers that may inhibit creativity. By randomly combining words and ideas, the method can help to generate unexpected and innovative ideas.

One advantage of Crawford's Slip Writing Method is that it can be a fun and engaging way to brainstorm and generate new ideas. In addition, the method can help writers to break out of mental ruts and to think outside the box.

However, one disadvantage of Crawford's Slip Writing Method is that it may not be suitable for all types of writing projects or for all writers. Some writers may find the method too random or unpredictable, while others may prefer more structured approaches to brainstorming and idea generation.

To illustrate some key concepts of Crawford's Slip Writing Method, consider the following example:

Example: A writer is working on a short story and is struggling to come up with new ideas for the plot. They decide to try Crawford's Slip Writing Method to generate some new ideas.

The writer writes down several words related to the theme of the story, such as "love," "betrayal," "mystery," and "revenge." They then shuffle the slips of paper and draw several at random, arranging them in a new order. The new order includes the words "mystery," "betrayal," and "revenge."

Using this new arrangement of words as a starting point, the writer begins brainstorming new ideas for the plot of the story. They consider various scenarios involving characters who are betrayed and seek revenge, and eventually develop a new plot that incorporates these themes.

In this case, Crawford's Slip Writing Method allowed the writer to break out of their mental rut and generate new ideas for the plot of the story. By randomly combining words and ideas, the method helped the writer to think outside the box and develop a more innovative and creative story.

See Also

  • Brainstorming - A general technique for generating ideas, of which Crawford's Slip Writing Method is a specialized form.
  • Delphi Method - A forecasting process framework based on the results of multiple rounds of questionnaires, similar in structure but different in application to Crawford's method.
  • Affinity Diagram - A tool used to organize ideas and data, often used in conjunction with or as a follow-up to methods like Crawford's.
  • Mind Mapping - A diagramming technique for representing tasks, words, or other items linked to and arranged around a central keyword or idea; another idea generation method.
  • SWOT Analysis - A strategic planning tool used to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats; sometimes used in conjunction with brainstorming methods like Crawford's.
  • Decision Matrix - A tool used to evaluate and prioritize a list of options, can be used as a step after gathering ideas through Crawford's method.
  • Innovation Management - The discipline of managing processes in innovation, where methods like Crawford's may be utilized to generate new ideas.