"You should write on paper" advice

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auxbuss
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Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:57 pm Post

I recently returned to writing by hand for first draft, and new/replacement scenes while editing; mostly as an experiment. I've found it liberating and fun. I also found I write more words and more descriptively. I think I stay "in the zone" more readily.

For me, the main benefit of handwriting is focussing on getting the story down and not being tempted to edit too soon or endlessly or getting fixated – "premature optimisation" as geeks call it.

At a personal level, I really love to write by hand. The sensation. Ink on the page. I truly wish I could get the same from an iPad.
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rucontent
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:27 pm Post

Good Afternoon Forum,

I had stepped away for a few days and decided to revisit this post. Thank you all for the recent feedback. I have not gone through the responses, but im very grateful that it struck enough of a "nerve" you would contribute.

thank you.
.

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devinganger
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:31 am Post

Jaysen wrote:I'm going to "throw down" a challenge to the non-handwriting types (I'm one of you BTW)... This is not a competition but a cognitive evaluation.


No.

Um, er, that is, not again.

Why not?

Well, um, er, They said I didn't have to.

Who is They, you ask?

<points one way>

<runs other way>
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Jaysen
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:13 am Post

I just found it an interesting exercise. I also did not expect the results to pan out the way they did for me (or the rest of the group). The nice thing about things like this is that you are free to attempt as the whim strikes you.

Sometimes I just wish my whims weren't driving busses.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 24 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

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Ji
JimRac
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Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:09 pm Post

auxbuss wrote:For me, the main benefit of handwriting is focussing on getting the story down and not being tempted to edit too soon or endlessly or getting fixated – "premature optimisation" as geeks call it.

This seems to be the driving principle behind the $500 USD Freewite device, which is a small E-Ink screen tacked onto a nice mechanical keyboard. The Freewrite supports only two capabilities: a basic text editor and a wifi connection that saves your work to the cloud. Its key feature--pun intended--is that it is missing arrow keys. No editing allowed.

https://getfreewrite.com/

ETA On Topic Point: Back in the day, I hand wrote first drafts of stories, and would then type up the *ahem* good ones on an electric typewriter. Then I bought a PC XT and WordPerfect and have rarely drafted by hand since.

That said, I still edit later drafts by printing out the complete story and marking it up by hand. But for me that is more about *reading* it in a different medium--something about seeing the story on paper in double-spaced Courier makes it seem more real--then it is about the feel/mechanics of using a pencil to strike through and replace words and sentences.

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devinganger
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Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:14 am Post

JimRac wrote:
auxbuss wrote:That said, I still edit later drafts by printing out the complete story and marking it up by hand. But for me that is more about *reading* it in a different medium--something about seeing the story on paper in double-spaced Courier makes it seem more real--then it is about the feel/mechanics of using a pencil to strike through and replace words and sentences.


I waver on this point. I'm more likely to do this for short stories, but not for longer pieces. I got out of this habit due to my day job and doing technical/IT writing -- I often don't have the luxury of waiting for a printout, managing the papers, etc. to review/edit the pieces I need to. I am now less likely to print for revision now because of that.

Maybe electronic revision is a learned skill?
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Winner "Best in Class", 2018 My First Supervillain Photo Shoot

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Silverdragon
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Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:57 pm Post

devinganger wrote:
I waver on this point. I'm more likely to do this for short stories, but not for longer pieces. I got out of this habit due to my day job and doing technical/IT writing -- I often don't have the luxury of waiting for a printout, managing the papers, etc. to review/edit the pieces I need to. I am now less likely to print for revision now because of that.

Maybe electronic revision is a learned skill?

I do what you describe for nonfiction (blog posts, mostly) but even there I'm likely to give it a look in a different format before posting. For fiction, rather than print to paper, I'll print to pdf and mark it up in a pdf editor (my favourite is Noteshelf on iOS). Then I can put the marked-up pdf in a window next to Scrivener (or even import it to Scrivener! Live dangerously!) and make my edits. Paper shuffling and ink cartridge use neatly avoided.
So you know where I'm coming from:
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oz
ozufx12
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Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:54 pm Post

I use the paper when an idea comes to my mind to not lose it, since I do not always have the computer

rw
rwfranz
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Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:43 am Post

Ahab wrote:I started out many years ago making notes on index cards and/or a small notebook (after much experimentation, I settled on the cheapish Moleskine Caheers, as being the most durable for the money).

Cheap 80-page composition books (when they're on sale, I buy a few. Last purchase was 50 cents each) and medium-point ballpoint pens. I use them a lot for writing down ideas, and sometimes whole chunks of story just fall out of my brain onto the pages. Then I type them into Scrivener later.

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lunk
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Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:25 am Post

ozufx12 wrote:I use the paper when an idea comes to my mind to not lose it, since I do not always have the computer


I use Drafts 4 for that, because I always have my Apple Watch with me and usually my iPhone. Then I simply send the text to the Scratch Pad. Simple and quick.

I almost never have paper and pen available when I get ideas, so I used to have to search for it first and when they were found the idea was usually lost.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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lunk
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Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:28 am Post

And for editing, exporting to pdf and reading on my iPad is more efficient than doing it on paper because when I make several notes and change my mind I can simply erase on the iPad and try again. Or move what I scribbled in the margin to somewhere else.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS