I myself have found, or rather my wife has found, that you can sometimes keep writers from fighting by getting them into some kind of pencil-and-paper games. You could say, for example, "There are thirty-seven given names and nicknames, male and female, in the word 'miracle.' I want you all to see how many you can find." This almost always takes up a good hour, during which the writers are mercifully silent.
M I R A C L E
Ali Alice Ami/Amie Ari
Cal Cari Carl Carlie Carmel Celia
Earl Elam Eli Elia Elric Emil Eric Erica
Lacie Lea Lear/Lir Li Liam Lira
Mac Macie Mali Marc Marcel Marcie Marie
Mel Mia Mic Mica Mila Mira