1. mraverageguy
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    mraverageguy Member

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    Hand writing a story, thing of the past?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by mraverageguy, Feb 27, 2011.

    It seems so impractical to handwrite an entire story, editing it would be a complete and utter pain and in general it's a longer process...

    But I have to admit I still find handwriting something more, personal.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Midnight_Adventurer
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    Midnight_Adventurer Active Member

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    I have notebooks allocated to stories that I'm writing and I find it very useful to write down a few pages or chapters and then type them up. That way I can do a quick edit and I'm not dependent on my computer. I find actually writing much more peaceful and easier than typing. So no, I don't think handwriting a story is dead, least not to me :).
     
  3. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I tend to write my first drafts on paper. Something about the feeling of scratching letters onto a page gets my creativity going much more readily than the sterile white background of Microsoft Word ever will. Perhaps it's the sensation of my hand starting to cramp after churning out a trio of paragraphs; it makes the fiction seem more real somehow. And seeing a hundred handwritten pages is infinitely more satisfying than seeing a hundred typed pages.

    That said, my editing is done entirely on a PC. Because you're right, it's just too impractical to write a story once by hand, correct it, then write it all out again. Though I have been known to rewrite the same scene up to a dozen times, by hand, just to try different approaches. It takes a while, but I enjoy the exploration.
     
  4. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    KP Williams has a good point; I find it easier to map out plots on paper, because you can use diagrams and charts and stuff much more easily that way than dealing with Word. Once I actually write it, though, Word is much more efficient.

    Plus, on Word I can easily spend 2-3 pages setting up tension and whatnot -- on paper I'm not going to do that.
     
  5. creativechris76
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    creativechris76 New Member

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    I'm just starting out myself so i personally don't have an answer for you,but I just read an interview with Dennis Lehane and he says he writes longhand and that same day he types it out.
     
  6. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    +1

    =]
     
  7. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I write very messy on paper, what with all the afterthoughts after writing down a sentence. Also, it's easier to look up the correct usage of a word and synonyms in a computer. So, apart from scribbling bits of ideas on paper when I am away from my computer, I can't think of writing a complete story solely on papers.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wrote my first, first draft of my first book entirely by hand all 50,000 words of it. However to be honest I much prefer my PC with OpenOffice.
     
  9. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I wrote my first story (Let there Be Light) on paper rather than computer. It was my first time ever writting a story though. I never got the feel of the effects of writing handwritten vs writing on computer. But when I write my school essays and homework assignments by hand, it seems to be effective as writing by hand first and then writing on Word helps me to re-word sentences that I've made on the handwritten paper. It does look different too. It's like proofreading your handwritten work as you copy the content from the handwritten pater to the computer.
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write a fair bit either way, mostly just because of my lifestyle - despite being a shut in, I find a million reasons to not be at home but wanting write, so I do it on paper. If I'm working on a big novel I'll fill several notebooks but that by no means says that the whole thing was written on paper, since once I start typing up I tend to carry on straight onto the screen, and if it's, say, summer holidays, I'll just keep writing and writing on the computer and only have a few pages of notebook, just because I don't have to move.
     
  11. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the mid-90s, when I was a kid and had no computer, I wrote by hand.

    I've got notebooks and stacks of paper full of song lyrics, poems, scraps of short stories etc. Just the other week I found a notebook where I'd started my first proper attempt at the opening chapters of a whodunnit. I was 15. It was written in pencil, so it's a bit faded now, but it was fascinating to read it again. I'd say there were around 20,000 words there.

    Now I hardly ever write by hand. It's much more efficient to use a word document.

    But I will say that doing it this way loses its charm. Perhaps young writers now won't have much of anything that's hand-written, and it won't be the same in the future to look back at printed sheets of paper, as opposed to original scribbling & doodling.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    when i was younger i wrote A LOT and always by hand (this was in the 80's and 90's and i had no computer of course), i had something like 14 binders FULL of my stories. (actually in the end it was only two veeeery long stories!) and i found it really hard at first to get used to writing with Word, because it somehow killed my inspiration. I got used to it after a while but i definitely agree with who said that it is something with writing by hand that is more inspiring. Im a quite fast writer and writing by hand i think in the same pace as im writing so its some kind of collaboration between pen and brain... recently i had to start writing a lot by hand again because my pc broke down (still isnt fixed) and since i didnt want to quit writing during that time, especially since i had lots of ideas, i had to rediscover handwriting, and it was really pleasant. ok, after x number of pages i had a severe hand cramp but i also got so much more writing done, if that was the handwriting per se or the fact that i had no internet distracting me have to remain unsaid... ;) but i started thinking about starting to write more by hand again, since i still feel more in sintony with my inspiration when i do. somehow its easier for me to get my thoughts onto paper when i use a pen... and i definately will close down internet while writing when i get the pc back...
     
  13. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    I do both. I outline, diagram, character sketch, flowchart, and note ideas by pen. When I'm feeling detached I handwrite, as it seems to force me to initially select more appropriate words, as I hate scratched-out pen and being allowed to backspace results in lazy thoughts.

    Typing allows me the option of editing what I just wrote and I hate doing that but I do, and sometimes get so involved in "this way or that way?" that I lose my thought and therefore, my momentum.

    The weird thing is the more I have hand-written, when I go to put it to type, the typed version seems alien, like it's not the same story. So, I'll just change my font to whatever reconnects me to the story and continue on.

    And I have various colors of pens, pads, notebooks, and post-its that I love to use when I write.
     
  14. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weird, I'm the opposite. I write fast and don't spend time picking words - I only scribble out if I can tell I've cocked up hugely, like by introducing a plot hole or contradicting myself. I scribble out a load anyway just because my handwriting is bad and I clearly have some sort of dyslexia because I mess up writing words sometimes as bad as typos except the letters themselves are malformed too :p When I'm writing on the computer it's far less messy to keep correcting, so as I go I create a much more polished draft. When I'm writing by hand I can write something as bad as "He went into the room. "Hey," Carl said, and handed him a bag..." where I might turn that into 3 paragraphs on my computer filling in plot-relevant details in the setting, the character's emotional state, how Carl looks, what the bag's about... I'd do that first time (ish) typing, while on paper I am just not bothered. :p I know it's going to get typed up so I don't stress over it.

    Generally when I write on the computer lots of pretty, thought-out descriptions come out. When I write by hand, lots of funny conversations appear.
     
  15. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I handwrite as well as using a computer. I agree that handwriting is somewhat more personal, and I feel that I get more emotion out when I write by hand. It usually depends where I am whether I handwrite or not. And even if I am somewhere with a computer, I sometimes choose to handwrite in a notepad instead.

    I don't see anything wrong with handwriting a novel. Personally, I think it'd be good to handwrite a first draft of a novel because then you have a hard copy, can easily map out ideas, and when you're redrafting it's easier if you can't have two word documents open on the screen. Plus, I find it easier to edit when it's on paper.
     
  16. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    I do two handwritten drafts of each novel. I like writing by hand much better, and I need to do full rewrites of the first two drafts to make the novel any good, so there's no point in doing my initial work on the computer.
     
  17. ericb0redalot
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    ericb0redalot New Member

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    When I started out in middle school, I wrote long-hand in a notebook for a long time. That notebook is long gone. I've always been a tech-geek, so typing naturally replaced handwriting for me.

    When I'm working on a story, I usually type away for about an hour or so every day. After I get a good amount of pages (20 or 30), which usually takes me a few days, I print it out. The scenes are never in order, none of the puzzle pieces fit right, and a lot of plot is missing. So then I tend to write on the paper. All over the paper - and sometimes i even flip the paper over an rewrite a scene longhand. Then I retype, and then do it all again until I have something good going.
     
  18. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Handwriting is lovely, and at times really effective but doing all draft in handwriting is just not optimal. You should use the right tool for the right thing.
     
  19. Mystic_snowfang
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    Mystic_snowfang Member

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    For some of us it's not even a choice. I've terrible hand writing, even I can't read it.
     
  20. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    If I ever get stuck on a little island somewhere, I'll use coconut juice to write with. I don't know what I'd use for paper though, maybe bark from the tree?

    Pencil and paper is still good for when you have no alternatives, except nowadays those times of no alternatives are few and far between.
     
  21. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    Writing by hand is what made me a better writer. I originally started on paper, but quickly switched to composing on the computer after the pain of hand-jamming my first story off the paper and into the computer.

    My huge problem was being able to delete things. If I didn't like the way something was going, I'd just select the last six paragraphs or whatever and hit delete, starting over. I would wind up taking eight steps forward and 6-12 steps back. I began writing by hand again.

    Writing by hand forced me to stick with my original ideas, making me think through things before just jotting down whatever images projected inside my skull. I wrote that way for three to four years before trying to compose on the computer again.

    I can now write just fine on the computer, though I admit that I'm still more creative on paper. I still usually carry a notebook around when I'm out and about; you never know when that next great idea will hit. :)
     
  22. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I have to admit, the last story I wrote by hand was in school, more than 10 years ago. Since then, I have written exclusively on computers, and I was writing mostly on computers even before then.

    I suppose it's a matter of personal preference. I certainly see the value of handwriting, but quick editing etc. are so much easier on a PC, and I'd end up typing it into a computer anyway at some point, so I can't be bothered to start with pen and paper. :rolleyes:
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i often handwrite my work first... i like doing it and it allows me a good first edit, when i transcribe it to the computer...
     

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