1. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Why Longhand?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Pythonforger, Dec 27, 2012.

    Why do people write by pen? Paper can get lost or torn or stained. Cramps will appear in your arms, your pen will run out of ink etc. With a digital version you have no muscle aches, you can copy your draft to a billion storage places(try emailing the document to yourself and storing it in Google docs so you won't accidentally delete it), editing is ten times easier and you can use tools like italics(useful for foreign words or emphasizing words).
     
  2. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I usually prefer typing, but longhand has a great advantage - no distractions at hand. I just sit/lie and write. No checking for new messages on forums, etc. No overediting (I'm one of those people who constantly keep coming back to readjust already written paragraphs), the only direction is forward.

    But I don't do that often, only when I feel I should make myself write and other options aren't working.
     
  3. Soodanim
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    Soodanim Member

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    Some people started writing before this new fangled fad called computers came along.
     
  4. Jon Deavers
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    Jon Deavers Member

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    I prefer to write on my computer when I am feeling disciplined enough. Sometimes pen and paper is the only way to go. So far I haven't been able to get apps for my notebook to check twitter, facebook, or play simcity. :)
     
  5. .Mark
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    .Mark Member

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    For me it seems to not interrupt the flow of writing as much, but I love Thesaurus.com too much to not use a computer. Only times I use a notebook is when I know I'm not going to be around a computer for some time, like when I'm traveling.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    pros:

    you can write anywhere, sitting/lying comfortably on anything [even the john] without needing to disconnect your laptop from the printer, modem, whatever and balance it on your lap [a note pad is a lot more movable/comfy]

    transferring your handwriting to the computer is your first opportunity to edit

    you won't forget how to write something other than scrawling your signature! ;)
     
  7. TheDoctor97
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    TheDoctor97 Member

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    For the most part, when I write, I type on the computer. It's quicker and I normally manage a lot more words than I would writing longhand. However, there are a few times when I do write by hand, and there are several reasons for my doing so.

    One, is that the very nature of writing by hand is that it is very portable. I can bring a notebook and a pen to school and write during lunch, between classes, and when I finish all my homework early without bringing a computer with me. Which I'm not allowed to do anyways. I get a few strange looks, and sometimes my friends (especially guys) will grab my notebook to look through it, but I don't really mind, so I deal with it.

    Two, is more a time when I write by hand. If I'm stuck on a particular scene, and am having a very hard time with it, I will often bring out the paper and pen. My mind works better when I'm writing by hand; I think I read somewhere that longhand stimulates the brain more than typing a computer does, or, at the very least, it stimulates a different part (I don't remember which it was now; should be easy enough to find via google). Thus, my brain tends to make more connections when I'm writing with a pen. I don't know if this works for everyone, but I do know that's why I do the majority of my brainstorming/outlining by hand, especially.
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I didn't have a computer when I was young so I used to carry around a clipboard with looseleaf paper.
    I wrote so much I used to go through a pack of Bic pens in less than two weeks. I even made a red groove
    mark in my finger. :) I tell you - I wouldn't like to go back to that - but because it was so easy to grab for when
    inspiration struck I put in my best hours with a pen and paper. I still use notepads and carry them everywhere
    and come up with some terrific scenes on the go.
    And for brainstorming - just jotting down random words free form - stream of conscious - pen and paper
    can't be beat!
    P.S. - But I love-love-love my computer for editing and organizing. Some of my earlier works were
    written on cheap paper - it's only been maybe 20 years but the paper is yellow and the ink has faded.
     
  9. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I write in longhand because for me its a much easier writing process.
     
  10. Phoenix Hikari
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    Phoenix Hikari Contributing Member

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    When I use the computer to write, I often find myself forgetting what I wrote before the current scene or what the characters said. However, if I write by hand I find it much easier to keep up with the flow of the story. I can recall things much more easily and connect things more accurately. It also makes good for second editing, as for losing papers,you can use a notebook instead of loose papers.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Honestly, I do love writing with pen and paper. It feels so natural, cutting out the middle-man of the computer. I love the way that the words flow out of my fingers onto the page. I also love the sight, feel and smell of a notebook full of handwritten tales.

    I do, however, do most of my writing via computer, as otherwise I have to type everything up for editing and submission, and working a full-time job I don't have the time.

    So with pen and paper vs. Computer, I think it's really as simple as aesthetics vs. convenience.
     
  12. twohappymonkeys
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    twohappymonkeys Member

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    I always write my poetry longhand first - there is something about forming the words, seeing them in my own hand, that creates a power that allows me to authentically express what I want.

    Story writing longhand for me is impossible - carpel tunnel, otherwise I would. Besides, when I then transcribe it into the computer, it's an immediate opportunity for editing. If I have a difficult scene or idea I'm just not able to express while writing, I often find I can resolve it with a pen and paper. The extra time it takes to write allows my brain to think ahead slightly. The extra time translates to more carefully worded prose/poetry.
     
  13. Griplan
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    Griplan Member

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    I like the hand cramps and the physical weight of the of paper.
     
  14. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    I like the extra edit it imposes. I don't like the idea of dropping a laptop into my bathwater. I use composition books that cost about a buck apiece.
     
  15. Tanner05
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    Tanner05 New Member

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    I normally write on my laptop.
    I do use a notebook when I'm in a boring lecture, waiting on class to start, or when I can't find a plug in on campus for my laptop.

    Also, if I'm having trouble with a scene on my computer it helps to be able to grab a pen and paper. Then I can doodle or write my character's names or whatever, a few time to get everything loosened up.
    I prefer a computer, but sometimes a notebook just hits the spot.
     
  16. Em_Anders
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    Em_Anders Member

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    I write everywhere- on my laptop, the desktop computer, and in just about every notebook I've ever owned, no matter their original purpose. My memory of what I've written is mapped to where I'd written it, too, though that method is not fool-proof. There are times I'll forget I've written something down in one notebook, have stored the notebook away in a box for months or years, and find it later. It's like reacquainting myself with a long-lost friend :)

    Also, writing longhand seems to read better than writing straight onto a .doc. When I transcribe things from paper to my computer, sometimes it changes the way I see what I'v written and changes my feelings about it. Generally I prefer longhand on unlined paper with a Bic brand pen. But when I'm in a frezied mood, I use my computer. I type faster than I can write, and most often my writing is not clear or legible and takes some time to decipher.
     
  17. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I don't think I can write longhand any longer. My fingers have forgotten how to connect up the cursive, so what comes out are messy chicken scratchings that vaguely resemble letters. And I used to have quite a nice cursive. But that's what fifteen or twenty years of typing will do to you.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I always use pen and paper when I'm brainstorming or if I'm stuck on something; my brain just seems to prefer it and I do like scribbling things out and drawing arrows all over the place. Even at work, if I have a complex letter or report to write I will jot down a brief draft on paper before typing.

    For me it isn't really a case of listing the pros and cons of paper vs computer and going with the best, it's just what I'm most comfortable with.
     
  19. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    It's more of a connection to my feelings, more natural for me. When I hand-write the words make their way out but when I type, my mind just doesn't seem to get what I'm supposed to be doing.
     
  20. Cursive
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    Cursive New Member

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    Besides the aesthetic joy of looking at my own handwriting, I like that all my mistakes are left on the page, all my editing notation stays on the page and I can see how I arrived at the final version. Feels alot like showing my work, and I think its important to have those mistakes to look back on. Also I sit at a computer all day long, talking and typing and staring into a monitor. It's a great change of pace to get out some paper and draw letters all over it in contemplative silence.

    I haven't begun to consider the effort it will take to type it out in its entirety until just now ...
     
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  21. nhope
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    nhope Contributing Member Reviewer

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    It's okay, Cursive, it's okay. Advice: Try not to edit while you are typing it because you'll change the story. Type it in as you wrote it then edit. It's safer that way.
     
  22. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I understand that. I usually type into Google Docs - it keeps all previous versions, and I too like to browse through them and see the changes.
     
  23. PaulKemp24
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    PaulKemp24 Member

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    Check out this short film.... http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8491988 Pay attention to the part where he talks about writing on a computer versus writing on a typewriter (which would be liken to writing longhand for this discussion).

    He says "A typewriter is a writing machine and a computer is an editing machine. The books that come out of a typewriter are very different than the books that come out of a computer. The process changes the product because you have a chance to make things perfect as you go along with a computer. And there's a real loss of innocence, I think. 'Jake' wrote itself in six months. With a computer I would've taken two years to write 'Jake' because I would've been making it right as I went along and sucking the life out of it, too."

    Pretty neat and pretty inspiring little film.
     
  24. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This! And the converse: Many people can type much faster than they can actually think. The rush of not-quite-right words and half-formed sentences this process results in can produce some utterly atrocious prose. Laughably bad prose. Sure, people say they can fix it in editing, but how many really do? It would involve rewriting almost everything, in some cases.

    Writing in longhand slows you down and forces on you the time it takes to get things right.
     
  25. Nighthunter
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    Nighthunter Member

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    I only ever use comp, I wish i could use a pen but my hand writing is terrible, even i would have trouble following my story if i did ^^
     

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