1. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    The death of handwriting

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Florent150, Jan 4, 2011.

    Does anybody here write out their work in pen?

    Over the past couple of months, with practice and the acquisition of some nice, quality fountain and calligraphy pens, I've turned my sloppy, illegible handwriting into beautiful script, and to be honest I really enjoy it. That image of writing out a beautiful story in handwriting that matches is quite appealing it seems to an aspiring writer, like the writing itself is an art form as well as the words. This is something MS word on a pc doesn't really give you. Whenever I see that "banner" at the top of these forums of the fountain writing I feel inspired to start writing myself for some reason.

    The problem is it's pretty much obsolete. As far as I'm aware publishers don't accept handwriting manuscripts, not to mention the fact that it's pretty difficult to "edit" handwriting, and writing out an 80,000 word novel entirely in pen is a pretty difficult thing to do especially if you're being creative while writing.

    For this reason it's much more of a personal thing. However it's pretty nice for things such as poems or short stories. Writing out a poem/story for family, or having them framed etc seems to be the best use; it was pretty nice during the summer time sitting next to my big garden pond writing poems in handwriting while my dad did garden DIY as we listened to football (Soccer) on the radio :L

    Anyway how do you feel about handwriting in a creative or non-creative manner? On the non-creative side, my college teachers now love my new handwriting; it's much nicer on the eyes too :p
     
  2. ScatteredDancer
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    ScatteredDancer New Member

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    I'm with you. There is something intensely personal and lovely about reading something handwritten. It connects you with the author in a way that Word Documents just can't. I find it sad that schools are beginning to eliminate teaching handwriting. It will be one more way in which the next generation is cut off from the last.

    During a trip to London I visited the British Library. They've got many treasures there, including the Magna Carta and an original, handwritten draft of Jane Eyre. Imagine entering and not being able to read those documents? It's just another example of how we are disconnecting ourselves from the personal in favor of the easy and mass produced.

    I like to handwrite at least one of my drafts. It forces me to slow down and really immerse myself in the process. There's also something comforting in knowing that there is a handwritten copy of my novel out there somewhere.

    So, I'm with you.
     
  3. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    If handwriting is dead, then I confess that I probably helped kill it. I used to scribble down ideas when they struck me, and have even written some fairly long passages by hand. But it was always frustrating in the end when I tried without success to decipher exactly what it was that I had written.

    I must confess that writing via computer is faster, easier and neater. I am a traditionalist in many things, but not this.
     
  4. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    Funnily enough I'm usually a non-traditionalist and I tend to embrace modern advancement, but this is not one of them ^^
     
  5. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    I enjoy handwriting and I do it often because I take notes.

    I also like to sit at Starbucks and drink a yummy coffee and brainstorm. Brainstorming is easier done by handwriting than computer. Computer asks for a more formal look, but handwriting is made for brainstorming. It feels natural and better.

    I do not have great handwriting. I try, though. I use to write a journal. But I do that on the computer. I do, however, write a sentence every few days in a notebook I was given about the day. I also writing "wisdom" in a book my cousin gave me...to give back to him when he graduates high school.

    I still use handwriting, but not for writing my novel.
     
  6. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    ^^ I changed mine by literally finding a font I liked on MS word, printing that alphabet as well as some sentences in the font, and then just tracing it out repeatedly, before attempting to replicate the writing without tracing. Eventually it just took hold.

    My handwriting was literally disgusting. My parents were illegible but at least kind of neat, but mine was just a mess of conflicting sizes and shapes :\ But not anymore :p
     
  7. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I write out some of my work in pen. For example, I am writing my novella entirely in pen. People say I can write like a typewriter.

    Handwritten work just seems endearing to me, especially the parts where I cross out or leave marks. It also allows me to take the work to more places and environments. I get sleepy writing in my house all the time, so I often take a notepad with me. I actually have more handwritten materials than I do electronic materials.
     
  8. Mister Cheech
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    Mister Cheech Member

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    I am too easily distracted if I try to write with a computer, so yes.

    Though my writing is illegible to everyone but me.
     
  9. J_Jammer
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    J_Jammer Banned

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    That's interesting.

    That's something I never thought of doing. Not that I'm going to, but that's very creative.
     
  10. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    I'ed like to get into the habit of at least note-taking for my novel in handwriting, like you and others have said it's easier to brainstorm with and is more portable. The only trouble is organizing all my notes properly; it's easier to use a PC's folder system, so if I want to make that change I'll have to get into the habit and come up with a better organisation formula :p
     
  11. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    To each their own methods. Despite having so much written work, I do not have a means of organization for them. I have to look through piles of the stuff when I need to find something. I only maintain the most recent or ongoing works, such as the small notepads in which I write my novella. Fortunately, I can easily recall the majority of my work because writing things down by hand also helps me to remember them.
     
  12. Florent150
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    Florent150 Member

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    ^ unfortunately I have a terrible memory, which is why I'm usually very efficient at organizing things so I can access them as easily as possible; particularly for studying college work or things like that. I kind of have to be, but I suppose it's a good thing :p
     
  13. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    Jotting or mapping down ideas. That is the only thing I do on paper. I do have a really nice handwriting, but I don't really put it to use that much. I feel writing it on Pages (Mac) is more organized.
     
  14. Edward G
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    Edward G Banned

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    I write on computer, but I keep two journals (one a prayer journal and one a regular journal) and in both I only use a pen and I only use cursive writing. I am trying to get better and better at it.
     
  15. Ashie
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    Ashie New Member

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    I rarely use the computer to write. Usually everything is handwritten because I believe it's more personal when you do so.
     
  16. daydreams
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    daydreams Member

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    Possibly writing down ideas with pen and paper if I don't have a computer or mobile anywhere near. I don't write stories by pen.
     
  17. TricksterDizzy
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    See, I have horrible handwriting. Absolute chicken scratch. Combine that with the fact that my mom was a magazine editor so she had a computer that me and my siblings grew up with, well, I am computer in most things.

    The exceptions are some notes (if I want to draw images with it, nothing better than a pencil and paper) and such that I use paper for. If it is a few specific lines or just key words I will plug them into the computer if it's nearby, but otherwise paper.

    Poetry is 50/50. Depends on the poem in question. Some need a more flowy feel, so I will use pencil and paper. Some will be strengthened by the rhythmic tapping and pounding of the keys.

    I do think some things will be lost in the transfer, but I think there is much to be gained. Ease of editing allows me to experiment more, the rhythm of typing will help me find the rhythm of the story, etc.

    As for eventually not being able to read the original manuscripts... well, remember, at the time of Bronte most of those were given to a printing press anyway. Unless a person went to the museum or happened to be lucky they wouldn't have seen her original handwriting (unless it was one of those rare special copies with a handwritten note, or etc). Not being able to read it, well... I have trouble reading most people's cursive writing anyway. Writers tend to be sloppy. The romanticism of the words and ink being there are enough, I think, even if someday someone won't be able to read exactly what it says. I know that when I am in the presence of things like the Dead Sea Scrolls or Ancient Egyptian writing I am not bothered by the fact that I can't read the actual letters, the awe is still there.
     
  18. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    No, I write in pencil.
     
  19. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I kind of feel more free when writing with pen and paper. You can't edit it anyway, so might as well just get on with it. On computers, I tend to sit for hours trying to improve a paragraph I'm not happy with, until I'm just sick of the story and give up.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i write almost as much in pen [at first] than i do on the keyboard... it allows me to lounge on the sofa with a nice hard-backed, pastel, lined notepad and my favorite fat ballpoint [blue ink only!]... and then transferring it to the computer gives me an easy first edit...
     
  21. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You could try something like Momentum Writer. It's a free download from the programmer of Liquid Story Binder. It is a full-screen text editor (which is nice for no distractions) and you can't backspace or otherwise go back and edit :)
     
  22. Sarah's Mom
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    Sarah's Mom Member

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    My handwriting didn't die, it was stillborn. It's nice to indulge the artist in yourself. You could make nice personalized cards with poems inside. Or a little storybook. Or make graphic art.

    If you want to sell anything, print it out.
     
  23. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My handwriting is death...

    But seriously it can be quite illegible, so much that I sometimes can't make out what I wrote.

    But yeah, it's nice to handwrite. Old school. I've got books and folders of handwritten song lyrics, 1995-now.

    There's something very nostalgic about looking back at the older ones now. :)
     
  24. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    My handwriting is hard to decipher most of the time so I only really handwrite nowadays when I get ideas when I'm away from my laptop. Although I do sometimes deliberately go to a park or a nice place outside and take a notebook with me so I can write by hand instead of being glued to a screen. I think it's nice to handwrite stuff and I won't ever completely rely on computers to type up my writing. But considering technology and how books are being published, I guess typing is just easier and more efficient.
     
  25. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am very proud of my handwriting. I have Dyspraxia and it was hard won to be able to write. It is now neat tidy and looks good. I practice it for half an hour a day otherwise it goes off. I use it for planning but I can't write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.
     

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