1. Mans
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    Mans Contributing Member

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    Is there any differecnce between typing and writing on paper with a pen

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mans, Feb 10, 2014.

    I have recently been used to type my ideas instead of writing on paper by a pen. I think, this method has reduced my ability and focusing on writing. What's your thought hereon? Isn't writing on paper more efficient and pleasant than typing ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    More efficient? Depends how you look at it. If you're talking about research and brainstorming, then yes, it is more efficient because you can make scribbles, doodles, and so on, which you just can't truly do on a PC. But to write a short story or novel? No, I don't believe it's more efficient, unless your computer skills are poor, or type so slowly that paper and pen is obviously necessary.

    Is it more pleasant that typing? This depends largely on the person. For example, I much prefer to type, as I can research quickly on Google if and when needed, and I can type much faster than writing by paper and pen. My hand also gets cramp if I write too fast and vigorously, and sometimes my ideas can be lost because my paper and pen writing is too slow.

    In the end, just try both and see what works for you. I use paper and pen for planning and the computer for my first draft and onwards. But for you, it may be different. Try writing a few chapters or short stories in both ways, and see if there's anything you prefer. Is holding a pen comforting? Do the ideas flow faster when on a computer? Can you concentrate with pen and paper more than you can on the PC? Bear these things in mind, and eventually you'll discover which method suits you best. :)
     
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  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for years, i used to think i could only 'create' if writing by hand, on paper... that my creative thoughts had to flow from my mind, through pen, to paper... was sure i could never 'create' on a computer...

    then, one day, while typing my handwritten novel pages onto the computer, i suddenly realized i had typed several pages beyond what i had handwritten!... and had to admit i'd been lying to myself all those years...

    that said, while i can now write things from scratch right on the computer, i still enjoy writing by hand, with my favorite fat, blue ink ball point pens on my favorite paper, lined pastel ampads...

    so, you may have that happen to you, eventually, mans... but if not, the only thing that matters is that you write in whatever way you want, whenever and wherever you want... there's no 'most efficient' or 'best' or 'worse/worst' way, only what works best for each of us...
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I saw a study not long ago showing how different parts of the brain are engaged when you're typing versus writing by hand. The hypothesis was put forward that creative centers may be more greatly stimulated writing by hand. I certainly find that a first draft flows better, and more creatively, for me when I write it by hand, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case for everyone.

    I prefer fountain pens.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I type at over one hundred words per minute*, and hand-write at about ten scrawled barely-readable words per minute. So hand-writing is definitely not more efficient for me. :) I sometimes wonder if I have some kind of minor undiagnosed disorder related to handwriting--I did plenty of writing by hand back in my pre-computer school days, but even when I was reasonably fast, my writing was always horribly hard to read.

    I seem to be much, much more creative when typing, though there are rare occasions, usually when trying to create something completely new, when I switch to scribbling by hand. Usually the scribbling just clarifies my thoughts, though, and I don't even look at it when I switch back to typing. Taking a walk and thinking through the issue without writing down a word has almost the same effect, so I suspect that hand-writing isn't the point, but instead physical movement.

    (*: One hundred words per minute in the sense that I can create one hundred correct words, but frantically backspacing and correcting as I type all the while. Using the old-style test where you're penalized ten words for every mistake, my typing speed would be scored in the negatives. Big negatives.)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Legibility and the exact location of writer's cramps.
     
  7. Maru Taka
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    Maru Taka New Member

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    I believe that if typing is less productive and less pleasant than writing on paper it is due to the fact that you still haven't reached the "comfort-zone" of typing. No one is born with the ability to handwrite or even type. We all need to learn that. How long did it take for you to be comfortable with pen and paper. I remember that it took me quite some years in school to master the use of a pen.
    After so many years it becomes second nature to handwrite, that, when you want to visualize some ideas or thoughts you just grab a pen or pencil and start to scribble or doodle.
    Some just never feel comfortable using a typewriter or computer to go from unmaterialized idea to a physical visual. As with learning to write it takes time to learn and become accustomed to typing.

    As a software developer by profession I need to write a lot of code. Although we've been taught to first write down concepts, flowcharts, timing diagrams, pseudo code, and what not ... I feel it's more productive to think about it and just type the code. Modifying it while the brain picks up different views of the problem and alternative solutions. And that's how you end up with buggy software.
    On a more serious note. The point is, I do feel more comfortable with using the keyboard to write code than handwriting it, although I prefer handwriting when it comes down to working out stories.

    Just a few weeks ago I bought myself a cheap tablet in order to be able to draw and scribble anywhere and still be able to carry along everything I had noted down.
    Maybe it's related to having a new toy, but I have noticed that I managed to get much more done than I previously could with pen and paper or typing on the computer. Time will tell if this will remain a good workflow.
     
  8. yanlins
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    yanlins Member

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    Typing, definitely typing. I like to edit stuff over and over again, writing my ideas down aren't really a good idea unless it's more of a brainstorm session. I tend to write faster on a computer too, and since I get hung up on spelling often (and usually I don't have a dictionary close by), writing is more distracting for me as compared to typing.
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I prefer to handwrite my first draft, because rewriting is an agony I will take pains to avoid. The process of inputting the draft into the computer forces at least one rewrite.
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think so. After years of writing my stories in Word instead of with pen and paper I still feel there's a better connection between the brain/pen/paper than between the brain and the keyboard. Some things and thoughts only ever appears on the paper when I write by hand. Besides, I'm a big fan of handwriting, I think it's a pity it seems to be dying in these days. Right now I'm actually writing my current ms my hand, and transferring it to the computer at the end of the day, or the day after. I think it has improved the writing. I write less than on the keyboard, but the writing is better for it.
     
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  11. TrevorEmdon
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    TrevorEmdon New Member

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    I love typing. The word processor, when it came out, was like a gift from heaven too. With typing I can always read what I've written, (with my handwriting I should've been a doctor!) And with a word processor, there's no problem with sequencing, editing or re-writing of any kind.

    Plus, holding a pen makes my hand tired after a while. Typing uses both hands and spreads the workload.

    I was talking to a guy the other day who doesn't think he can remember seeing a pen in his house for years!

    There's a thought.

    A generation is coming up where there will be no pens, no physical books, no notepads ...

    Okay. I changed my mind. Give me back my pen. At least it's quaint!
     
  12. MadiCat
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    MadiCat New Member

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    I much prefer writing with pen and paper, always have. My thoughts seem to come together easier, and I can just take a little notebook with me wherever I go. It also allows me to sketch out main characters, objects, markings, ect, that may be relevant or used as inspiration for what I'm writing.

    For the times when I don't have a notebook handy, I will write little prompts on my phone. I despise smartphones so I try and limit my use of them.

    Depending on my mood, I can write either great or horribly when typing on the computer. It has the pros of being more time efficient when it comes down to a word count, and the ability to edit so easily; which is also a con. It's good to have several drafts of dialog and incidents, so you can choose which one is most suitable.

    And writing by hand right now would be a lot easier on me, as I sustained a minor finger injury. Remove fingers from mouth before chewing!
     
  13. KatieValino
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    KatieValino Member

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    I personally like to write all my novels by hand but not because i feel it is a must, but because I see it as easier and enabling the editing process. It is easier to edit a written script and to see it clearer on paper than on a computer screen (hence why a lot of people print off their work to edit), not to mention the process of transferring from paper to computer encourages another editing stage that would be lacking if only typed on computer.

    In the end though, do what feels most comfortable, I won't lie, sometimes I hate hand writing because of the cramps and my inability to read my own excited scrawl at times.
     
  14. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I do all pre-writing on paper. I'm a very visual person and it helps me to have papers to shuffle about, actual pages to flip, a pen to scribble with. I'm also a bit of a draft hoarder as I hate making changes and not having the original reference(s). Clicking folders and between tabs on a screen jumbles my brain and stifles my creativity. When it comes to down to real writing and I finally have a clear goal in mind, I switch to a comp. But, I always have my trusty paper notes handy and chaotically scattered in a mess of organization that makes sense to me and no one else.
     
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  15. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    P&P, portability. Typing, as portable as a laptop (tablets are still too tiny to type on).

    I still like to hold a pen in my hand and have paper underneath, but my notes can get so scrawled to the point I can't make sense of them.
     
  16. Remus Penn
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    Remus Penn Member

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    Writing on paper is absolutely not efficient or pleasing for me, and my Asperger's has a hand in that. I can normally only produce good writing when I'm on a computer. I think it's because I think so much faster than I write by hand, and I just can't keep track of anything. No matter what sort of writing it is, I can only do well if I'm typing it.
     
  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I love my computer/wordprocessor. It's what finally enabled me to write in a serious fashion. I found when I wrote by hand—and I did try to do that for many years—that the crossovers, crossouts, swaps of scenes, additions and other story changes quickly became an unmanageable mess, and I gave up.

    If you're the kind of person who gets your writing 'right' the first time, with very few corrections, handwriting may well work best. It's certainly more portable and flexible, regarding when, where and how you choose to write.

    But ...and this is a pretty big 'but'... if you want to get anything published you'll eventually have to key it into a computer anyway. So maybe it might make sense to start with that? Unless you really do feel you write much better stuff by hand.

    I know many fast 2-finger typists, but it's still not the most efficient way to key into a full-sized computer or laptop. If you're not a 10-finger typist, you might want to take a short course in how to do it. Memory of where the keys are kicks in very quickly, partly because the QUERTY design of the keyboard maximises easy typing of the most often used letters and letter combinations in English. Typing does flow easily, once you get the hang of it, and computers, unlike typewriters, allow swift correction of typos.

    I'm a 10-finger school-trained typist, but my typing remained slow for many years, due to fear of making mistakes and the constant need for correction. I mean ...TippExx, or those little chalk-covered correction squares, erasable bond with its greasy surface and mushy letters, and—horrors—mimeograph sheets that had to be corrected with torn-off bits of the mimeograph paper itself, re-aligned with the needed letter. Or those AWFUL triplicate waxy ones that produced stencils for printing out, mainly in offices? AARrrrgh.

    Then I got my first wordprocessor, way back in 1994. An Apple Performa with ClarisWorks, bless its little cotton socks, and an Apple printer to go with it. Almost immediately, my typing speeded up to where it now keeps pace with my thought processes. (Well, maybe THAT's not as fast as it sounds? :))

    I am a Luddite in many ways, but not this one. I would HATE to go back to only handwriting or typing on a mechanical typewriter. Mind you, I still do lots of preplanning and note-taking by hand. I do think handwriting is an important skill to keep.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  18. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    C'est moi! :D
     

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