Typing in MS Word in non-traditional patterns

Posted on 2007-10-19
Last Modified: 2010-03-05
I am taking a fiction writing class and we have been instructed to "break" a convention of writing.  I would like to break the convention of traditonal paragraph writing by writing around each edge of the paper in a spiral and not down the page as is traditional.  

How do I do this in MS Word.  I know how to change the page orientation from portrait to landscape, but the words follow the orientation of the page and won't let me type along each margin.
Question by:seramai
    LVL 76

    Accepted Solution

    The best that Word could do is to have a series of thin text boxes. You can link them together (use the Text-box tool bar). You can change the text orientation.
    However you can't have the text upside down. Also, it's a lot of work for anything more than a few lines.
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    by:Zuhir Elgmati
    as i understand, writing around each edge of the paper : view ->>header and footer from there you can write in the down or upper edge of the paper
    in a spiral and not down the page as is traditional:  as GrahamSkan: said or you can use Autoshapes and add text to it  
    LVL 58

    Assisted Solution

    You want to ... "'break' a convention of writing"?

    Why not turn in a text *not written in Word* (gasp!)
    * Open word, and type a space
    * Print

    This yields a sheet of paper. Then find a pen, crayon, or marker (the think you use once a year to sign your new credit card with) and write *on the blank sheet*. You will notice that you can write in any orientation, size, and style. With a bit of trial and error, you can manage a very nice spiral. I can tell, I used to do that back in the last millennium when I was young and getting bored in class (we didn't have the option to surf the Internet in those cases back then...)

    No, seriously.

    I don't think you are merely meant to break a convention of present-day text processing, or even presentation and typography. This would be an assignment for an art or graphics class, not fiction writing.

    What you teacher meant is for example to write a meaningful story as:
    * a series of text messages without context
    * using groceries lists
    * with a one-sided phone conversation (you hear only one side)
    * as a purposely misleading diary meant to be discovered and read
    * using streaming news flashes

    Or impose yourself a silly rule like:
    * not using the letter 'e'
    * having all sentences use the exact same grammatical structure
    * compose in rhymes but typeset as normal text
    * do not choose a gender for all characters
    * use only cut-and-paste from web pages without editing

    In short, do something hard with your writing, not with your computer.

    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    I have a medical condition that causes great pain when I laugh.
    LVL 58

    Expert Comment

    On "imposing yourself a silly rule", I was really thinking of Oulipo. It turns out there is a Wiki-page about it in English:

    Have fun!

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