Hand vs. Type

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by BlancheKing » December 15th, 2009, 6:16 am

Personally, I prefer hand-written first drafts because they get done faster. I used to do a lot of my writing during classes, and notebooks are definately less conspicuous than laptops. ;)
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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by Kaitlyne » December 15th, 2009, 7:06 am

It depends. I wrote my first two (and about 60 pages in one that I put aside until I figure out a plot point in it) longhand. Now I'm more likely to type just because it's easier, though I had to learn to be able to do it. I carry a notebook with me and write while waiting for the train sometimes, though.

I do most of my editing by hand, and then type them in. Go through a lot of ink that way. ;)

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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by casnow » December 15th, 2009, 8:55 am

I'm a typer all the way... I couldn't imagine handwriting dialogue. normally I write fairly dialogue heavy stuff, and I generally feel that i type it at near-conversation speed as it rolls out. It also helps that my handwriting is atrocious and slow. However, after i go through and type something, and then go through and do a full read or two on the computer, I then print-out the MS and edit it on paper - I find that doing "real" edits (not just typos) requires me to make the changes on a printed copy.


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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by Tzalaran » December 15th, 2009, 9:49 am

i started as a by hand writer. For a long time i had a mental block about drafting at the keyboard, and things seemed to flow better if i wrote by hand. Then one day as i was transferring my scribbles into a digital file the handwritten scene was missing huge sections of conversations and description, and i started filling in the blanks and the next thing i knew i was past that scene and through the next one.

now about the only thing i write by hand is when editing or signing my name.

depending on the word processor you use, there is a comment feature in Word that allows you to insert notes wherever you want into a digital file. I've found that this combined with the collaboration tools allow for editing text much like a printed copy. It is a feature i just recently learned about, so figured i'd bring it up in case others were unaware of it.
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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 15th, 2009, 8:43 pm

Yeah, count me among those who can't possibly imagine handwriting a novel. My wrist would give out by Chapter 2.

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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by CharleeVale » December 15th, 2009, 9:40 pm

Nathan Bransford wrote:Yeah, count me among those who can't possibly imagine handwriting a novel. My wrist would give out by Chapter 2.
Haha, I do have to take a break after a while. I'll probably have carpal tunnel by the time I'm thirty!


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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by coscooper » December 16th, 2009, 10:49 am

My 2 cents:

Computer typing all the way. I couldn't read my own writing anyway and I've found that my typing is about the same as my thought flow, so it works for me. I'm a heavy email communicator at my "day job", so I've built up the skill set to think-type automatically. Typing is just an extension of my thoughts, so I don't even have to think about typing. I often look away from the computer screen and type as the throughs flow.

I'm not affiliated with this application or company, but if you run a MacOSX, try "StoryMill". It is WAY better than a traditional word processor. Helps break down long novels & stories all in one concise location and the full screen feature removes all of the other distractions on your computer.

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.
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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by owlandsparrow » January 15th, 2010, 10:32 am

I'm a newly converted hand-writer, though I'm not opposed to writing on the computer. One day, inspired by a friend who wrote her entire manuscript by hand, I decided to try it...and I LOVED it! Like many of the computer-only people on here, my initial thoughts were a) this is going to hurt, b) this will be slow, and c) ...um...dialogue? How?

To my surprise, all three of my worries were practically non-issues. I wrote in 1,000(ish)-word chunks, typed it in as I went, and continued that way for the last 28,000 words of my second draft. The words flew by, and the dialogue wasn't a problem. My wrists eventually did start hurting, but those were only on the 3,600-word days. On average, I was writing about 1500 words/day at the computer, but when I did it by hand, my average jumped up to about 2500; there was also a string of days where I did at least twice my average. When I write longhand, I don't have a running word count at the bottom of my screen (and I worry about quantity instead of quality sometimes, when distracted by that). The Internet isn't so accessible. And, because I write - then read - every 1,000 words or so (without editing too much) I get a double dose of where the story has been, and therefore a better idea of where it needs to go.

The other thing that surprised me was how much more connected I felt to my characters. I do a lot of personal journaling, and writing the novel longhand into a Moleskine brought that familiar intimacy to the pages. When I wrote about this on my blog, a few of my friends tried it and reported similar feelings of being more connected to the characters.

Anyway! If you haven't tried it, you should, at least for one day; if nothing else, it will give you a change of pace from the usual.

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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by Seamus » January 15th, 2010, 2:19 pm

I'm at a point that requires a keyboard for the creative process to work. Something is now wired between my hands and my head that makes stories. Two years ago I had back surgery, which made it necessary for me to take my hands off the keyboard for about four weeks. I got one of those voice recognition applications on my computer and it worked just fine, but I didn't. I could not make a good story come from my mouth the way it comes from my fingers. Anyway, more power to you if you can do it that way.
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Re: Hand vs. Type

Post by writeitsideways » January 15th, 2010, 3:10 pm

Ugh, hand writing? My penmanship is so terrible, I can barely read it.

I type everything except very short notes or reminders, and only if I don't happen to be around the computer. Like a few of you, I also use Scrivener. Most of the time I just put any notes-to-self in there.

I think once you get used to typing stories, you never go back. I don't know what words to use until I see them in front of me, so if I couldn't quickly delete, insert, or otherwise change what I've written, I'd go nuts.

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