Writing Longhand

I can get a bit… scribbly!

The more I write, the more I find that I prefer to write longhand instead of using the computer. (It’s worth noting that the computer RULES for editing, rewriting, rearranging, and otherwise molding a story into the right shape.)

I always start a story by hand. I scribble notes and write a page or two. Then, up until the last two it three months, I have always switched over to the word processor to type the following 90% of the story.

It’s fast as long as I know where the story is heading. And maybe you see where this is going if you happen to know that I hardly ever write a story outline, and even when I do it’s less than skeletal. More like a stick figure missing a stick or two.

The words are more likely to dry up after I switch to typing the story. I find myself stalling not just on what to type for the next sentence or paragraph, but on what the next scene is and where the plot is going.

Maybe it’s because when typing my fingers can travel as fast as I’m thinking. But writing by hand forces me to fix what’s coming next in my mind as I hurry to write down the words that bridge the gap.

Or maybe that’s not it at all and there’s a different reason baked into my brain.

Either way, lately I’ve been writing by hand more than I’ve been typing as I compose a story. The biggest challenge is deciphering my own handwriting and making sense of all the notes and additions I cram into the left hand column of the evidence pads I love to use. (Think steno pad, but full 8 1/2″ x 11″ size and with the  vertical rule one-third of the way from the left instead of down the middle)

 

(Edit, an hour or so later: composed this with the voice-writing function on my mobile — it didn’t do too bad, but left me a couple of things to clean up. Technology: the solution to and cause of all of our problems, right? Anything that’s still wrong, I blame on my lovable but very loud and distracting little ones. Oh, and I also clarified a couple of things in the third and last paragraphs.)

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About Tao23

I write about my science fiction and fantasy writing--and plenty of other things--at sabarton.com

Posted on August 29, 2016, in It Is A Mystery, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I absolutely hate writing longhand! Not only can I rarely read my own writing (yay for being left-handed) but it just seems so painfully slow.

    • It *is* slower than typing, and sometimes that drives me a bit crazy. The end product, for me, ends up a bit better I think — and it *really* helps me when I’m feeling unsure of where a scene or story is going. Just one of those things. (Also, since my handwriting is pictured, I think it’s pretty obvious that sometimes I also struggle with reading my own handwriting!)

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