Tip to stop going down the rabbit hole while writing

Ever get to writing and realize that you don’t know what to name something? You get stumped, stuck on baby names for hours or mix up letters until a dystopian name sounds right. Soon, time has slipped away from you, and you don’t have time to write anymore.

I’ve heard of an idea that might fix this.

Write in a placeholder name in all capital letters that stands out like ELEPHANT or GIRAFFE. It’s something easy to search in Microsoft Word or Google Docs to find it quickly when you need it. This helps you move on and continue writing.

They suggested:

ELEPHANT = word forgotten
GIRAFFE = character name
CHEETAH = detail forgotten

The photo was cut short, so I don’t know the original person who thought of this idea.

I’m not sure how I never thought of this before for writing since I already do this for editing. While editing, I write three exclamation marks (!!!) in the comments if I need to look something up in The Chicago Manual of Style or double check something for consistency later. After I edit all the way through, I go back through those comments one by one to make sure I got everything. It’s a quick way to find all my notes.

Hopefully this idea helps you the next time you forget a word or don’t know what to name something.

Have a question or another idea? Leave a comment below!

One thought on “Tip to stop going down the rabbit hole while writing

  1. This is an awesome idea! I often get hung up on character names and this discourages me from writing. Having set placeholder titles is a great way to be able to come back to every instance and clean up later, but still be able to comfortably move forward in writing.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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