Put simply, RAFT writing is a creative writing exercise that was designed to make you consider different perspectives and formats for your writing. I use it all the time with my students and many of my students had a hard time grasping the concept the first time, but found it more and more interesting the more that we used it in class.
The role that you are using for this exercise can differ greatly from writing as yourself to writing as an object or character from a book.
This is who the piece of writing will be directed towards. I like using things like a specific person or group of people instead of just thinking of “readers” or “everyone.”
This is the way that you will actually write, and can include stories, conversations, scripts, letters, texts, advertisements, and more.
This is the what you are writing about. While this may seem super important, as part of this exercise, it is actually the least important component of RAFT writing. This is because the goal is to attempt to use perspectives and formats that we may not be comfortable with.
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the basics, here’s a few examples:
R: postal worker
A: one of the residents on your route
F: dialogue exchange (no exposition necessary)
T: please leash your dog
As you can see, this one is very different from the above. It may also spark a new creative nugget from your mind, maybe not with the actual “plot” but with the dialogue or the way that you have to adjust your tone and language being an employee dealing with a client.
Here’s another example:
F: journal entry
T: a day in the life
These sorts of formats can be a lot of fun, I especially like thinking about what characters would write in their journal at the end of the day. You can really make those things come alive.
In the end…
This exercise is all about having fun. It is a great way to loosen up your writing muscles and not feel tied to a project or idea that you are really invested in.
For me, I use these when I’ve stepped away from something for a while and need to get back in the chair without feeling like I am stressed out over the draft that I’m working on.
I hope they help you as well. If you write something, I’d love to see it in the comments!