Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Hope of Memory [Update 11] Typing vs. Longhand

I'm getting close to finishing the typing of my handwritten first draft of Wilders, Book 2 of my The Hope of Memory trilogy.  I've also done some editing on and off for Book 1, The Distant, and I've discovered a few things about my writing process.

Writing on a Computer

I don't like writing directly on a computer.  In editing The Distant, I've added in a few new scenes, and writing them on the computer is somewhat hard for me.  I constantly want to reread what I just wrote, and then rewrite and edit it, which messes up the flow of my writing.

Incidentally, this is also why it takes me a while to do some of my more lengthy blog posts and why they are days apart.  I type them up in Blogger and constantly go back over them while typing.  Even this one.

There are also the inherent distractions of a computer... particularly the internet.  It is very easy for me to look something up on the internet, only to waste 20 minutes surfing around instead of getting back to work.  The internet is my nemesis at times.

Writing Longhand

However, when I write longhand on a notepad, none of that happens.  Since I can't easily make corrections, I just write and don't worry about it.  Anything that I need to fix later, or something I need to reference earlier, I note in the margin and just keep going.  I can deal with all that later, when typing up the text and editing.  Writing longhand allows me to get things done.  No internet distractions, either.

Another benefit of doing things longhand is that it's the ultimate portable.  Just bring the pad, pen and perhaps a few pages of notes / outline to reference as needed.  Also, it prevents my world or story from getting too complicated.  So while I am tracking all the details and timelines on my computer, that's more after the fact, when I'm editing.  I only need to know the next scene or two when I'm writing away from my computer.

Also, when writing longhand, I write slower (obviously typing is faster).  This allows me to think about what I'm doing while I'm doing it.

Most importantly, though, longhand gets me away from the computer.  I sit in front this machine most of the day, every day.  For work, for the app I'm developing, for the gaming forum I help moderate, etc.  It gets very tiring sitting in the same chair all day.  Any time away from it while still being productive is good.

And the Winner Is...

So... I've been debating whether to write the last book in the trilogy, Rom Tar, in longhand or on the computer.  I don't see why I should mess with something that's working.  So I'll be writing it longhand again.  It is a pain to type it all up at once later, but that's a minor inconvenience compared to actually getting work done and spending less time at the computer.