Two keywords short of a rubric
July 15, 2009 11:56 AM   Subscribe

In the very late 1970s or very early 1980s, Writer's Digest published an article titled, "How to Write Fast." It may have been by David A. Fryxell, who has a book of similar name (which interlibrary loan seems loath to produce). The article had five keywords for the steps in writing fast. Three of them were "preset," "stuff," and "buzz off." I've forgotten the other two and can't locate my old magazine. Any writers out there remember this?
posted by bryon to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
No, but Dave's a former boss and friend of mine. I'll ask him.
posted by GaelFC at 12:26 PM on July 15, 2009

Hey, I'd like a look at that too, if GaelFC can get hold of it.
posted by Rykey at 12:45 PM on July 15, 2009

I'm also interested.

You can look through the whole book you referenced on Google Books.

No internal results for preset or buzz off though.
posted by imjosh at 12:58 PM on July 15, 2009

amazon has used copies of this book for sale starting at .20 cents...
posted by jak68 at 12:58 PM on July 15, 2009

imjosh, is that the same book?
Fryxell has two books out:
"how to write fast while writing well"
"write faster, writer better"
posted by jak68 at 1:09 PM on July 15, 2009

He has a webpage.
posted by Carol Anne at 1:50 PM on July 15, 2009

Dave says he doesn't remember using those five keywords, unfortunately. If he did, he no longer has a copy of the article himself. Sorry! He's an awesome guy though, and I'm sure his books would be helpful regardless. (Have to plug my old pal's work.)
posted by GaelFC at 3:43 PM on July 15, 2009

Thanks for asking Mr. Fryxell, GaelFC. Very cool to have a contact like that. OK, so it was someone else writing for "Writer's Digest." I've turned Google inside and out hunting for this. I used to teach this method to younger, less-experienced writers (and some teachers in training) with superb results and much happiness all around. Frustrating to recall only three-fifths of it now.
posted by bryon at 6:40 PM on July 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bryon: For the advantage of the small group of "interested" people - including myself - could you give a really quick summary of what the basic concepts were around the "preset," "stuff," and "buzz off" parts that you remember? If not, no biggie - I'm just intrigued now! :)
posted by wackybrit at 7:10 PM on July 15, 2009

Sure, wackybrit. The keywords summarize the five basic steps in writing an article (or a term paper, or what have you) quickly. I think "preset" came first (seems logical) and it referred to getting everything ready -- all your research materials, everything you were going to need. "Stuff" referred to stuffing your brain full of that material, really understanding your subject. "Buzz off" was the brilliant part of the plan -- now that you've got the information in your head, get away from the project for a reasonable period (an hour, a day) and do something else to let your subconscious process the data. The final two steps, I suppose, were to write and then edit whatever it is you're working on.
posted by bryon at 11:31 PM on July 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by wackybrit at 4:28 PM on July 16, 2009

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