Does anyone else hand write the first drafts of their novels/short stories?
I know I can't be the only one who just can't make consistent content unless I'm writing it all out longhand. Otherwise I just stare at the screen for hours at a time.
I only write articles and short stories, but I often write out an outline on paper at the least. If it is an in depth article, I may write out the entire thing on paper and have crazy edit notes scribbled around the edges. I am an old timer, but don't let this technology force you to give up the roots of the craft of writing. Embrace the fact that you can put pen to paper and do what ever it is that does it for you without shame.
I can't wait with just using pen and paper.I don't know why but using a computer puts less pressure on my wrists and it is easier to erase what I think needs to be replaced without wasting too much paper.
I write plots and outlines out on paper through so I have it with me when I am writing. It makes it easier for me to stay focused.
I used to hand write short stories. Once I even wrote an entire novel in longhand (years ago). Now I often take notes when an inspiration hits me for a story and I am away from my computer. I cannot write by hand too much anymore because of an injured thumb that never healed properly. So, all my real writing is done on my computer. I truly admire authors of the past who wrote all their manuscripts with pen and ink -- what a chore. I miss longhand writing a lot, it was a form of therapy at times.
Kennedi, I always write out the first draft with pen on paper as I am usually away from the computer when I get my ideas..whether it is a poem, short story or article. I always have a notebook with me wherever I go so I can take notes and write down ideas. Poems often just come into my head when least expected. Everyone does what suits them...it's the end result that matters.
For the most part, I also write first drafts long hand. I find it's a helpful way to 'disconnect' from the distractions of a computer. It also helps with editing because you fix things naturally as you type it up later. The only exception I have is during NaNoWriMo, when I need to write quickly and know how much I wrote each day. But, other than that, all I need is a cheap notebook and pen.
Usually I write out pieces for Hub-pages in longhand, section by section. These days books go straight into Documents (Windows Vista), although I filled a number of notebooks until I'd bought my laptop and found I needed to 'pad it out' a fair bit.
As i'm in mid-series I found that opening a document with title and excerpt from the Peterborough Chronicle gets me into the 'frame' quicker than writing from scratch . I know the theme, where to start and roughly how far I need to take it before adding the epithet:
'...Another beginning' (or something on those lines).
All of my novels have been written in a spiral notebook first. I can't get comfortable looking at a computer screen for any length of time. I take my notebook and pencil, get a large glass of iced tea, kick back in my recliner, and write until my hand hurts. When I finish a chapter, I type into the computer, print it out, and do a first proofread. The cycle continues until I finish the book.
I was told a long time ago that a writer finds his or her "voice" through the repetition of writing long hand. As early as 14, I began keeping a journal and writing in it, daily. My everyday thoughts, frustrations and actions were recorded in such and the world around me became bearable. In novel and short story writing, I often make a concept "map" or "web" to organize and strategize the entire scope of my work. The process of writing long hand is usually comprised of short sections of the work, such as a dialogue between two characters, a description of scenery that I want to employ, or perhaps some internal dialogue for a given character.
Usually, when I write in long hand there is more editing involved, rather when I type out the story first hand. However, I believe that there is more freedom and informality than using strictly an electronic device to hone into a story, whether short or long.
I hope that answers your question.
I always write poetry by hand, but other than that, only resort to pencil and paper if I can't concentrate online.
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