1. JCKey618
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    JCKey618 Member

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    Writing Longhand....and then typing it up.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JCKey618, Oct 1, 2009.

    So I wrote my second novel longhand last summer. About 550 notebook pages. It was a great experience, loved writing longhand, etc, etc, but typing it up has been a b! I can't scan it because I wrote in cursive and I don't think a computer will come along in the next 100 years that can decipher it. Also couldn't pay someone else to do it for the same reasons. I went about the arduous process of typing it up, but I'd be doing it just about at the same pace it took me to write it. Recently, I got Mac-Dictate (voice-recognition software) and a headset. That has been working so-so, but about 10% of the words come out wrong. This may not seem like much but it is when I have to go back and look for every mistake, then look to my notebook to see what the correct word is (because it's not like a regular typo--it's an actual word that the computer thought I said, usually totally different).

    I like writing longhand, but typing it up is a real pain. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or just share your own experiences?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Whatever works for you. If I were to write a novel in longhand, I may as well feed it directly into a shredder. It might even make it more legible.
     
  3. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    i try to do both i often write longhand whilst i am away from my desk and try to type it up later, but the typing up is a long process and doesn;t always work out the way i planned
     
  4. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    hah, I have tried longhand while i was away from my computer. Typing it up was so terrible! And I only wrote 2 notebook pages. Now I have a laptop. Never ever thought it would be of any use to me, was just a HUGE bargain. I now have this huge gaming computer sitting over there doing nothing as I sit all comfy on my recliner typing away on my laptop... it's so convenient! I want more laptops!

    I think your only other option might be one of those writing pads - I haven't ever tried them, but I hear they exist. heh. Not sure how well the work, but if you can't scan in your handwriting and have it legible to the computer then it might not work for you either.

    So get a laptop with a decent battery, and never put it down! :)
     
  5. roseberryse
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    roseberryse Member

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    I write longhand when I'm not home and feel the need to write, and I enjoy the type up afterwards. It allows me to go through and give the writing a second look for editing purposes. Of course I make changes while I'm typing, so it's always better the second time around.
     
  6. Sophronia
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    Sophronia Member

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    When I don't have a computer handy I may write bits and pieces long hand, but I don't write entire stories long hand any more. I find I can do much more with the story when I type it on the computer, because I can edit it much easier, change things around, etc.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    When I write novels, I prefer to write longhand and then type it up, but with short stories I don't bother. I just type them straight up.
     
  8. Aquarelle99
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    Aquarelle99 Member

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    I prefer to write longhand as well. It feels more hands-on (bad pun, I know, but that's also the best way I can think of to describe it). Something about writing the words physically helps my creativity keep flowing. But I'm gradually trying to get used to doing everything on the computer, because typing things up afterwards is so annoying. That is, everything except poetry, which is generally short enough that it's not too annoying to type up the finished product. I wish I had good tips for you. If you come up with any, I'd be interested to hear!
     
  9. Cyrano
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    Cyrano Member

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    I always liked it when I wrote up smaller parts and then typed it up. Whenever I would type it up, I would always find some kind of typo or a better way to say what I wanted to say. Unfortunately, that also meant there were many times where almost everything I wrote that day became useless after further analysis. :(
     
  10. Sillraaia
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    Sillraaia Senior Member

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    When I try to write it out in a notebook first, it is always much slower for me.. like the slower hand movements and trying to keep the writing legible distracts me from my creativity. I can type at 60-70 wpm though, so typing is a much faster way for me to get the thoughts down as fast as I can, as they play out in my head. It allows for much more natural progression through the story, rather than running it all in slow-mo.

    Last time I wrote something up with the notepad rather than on the computer, I found a huge gap in the story. like, someone asked a question, and the person who answered wasn't even giving an answer, they answered a totally different question.. and I was left trying to figure out what happened in the middle!
    I didn't even notice it when I typed it up, it all sounded right at the time, so had to figure it all out again a week or two later when I had already moved much further on in the story.

    But yes, I have found a laptop the perfect solution for me - even though seeing an empty notepad inspires me to the point that I simply want to collect them, even having no idea what to write in them.
     
  11. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always write in longhand and then type it all out later. I find I am more creative when I write it out. This process just works best for me. I am not the best typest, so it takes some time. That is why I always set aside time in the evening to type whatever I have written.
     
  12. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I hate writing long hand. Not just because I cant read my handwriting most of the time. But also because I don't feel as creative and that I can't express myself as I wish. I had handwritten a few chapters long hand in school and when I went to type it I found that I could describe and add way more to it then I thought. Also typing it out was just painful.
     
  13. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's probably way too expensive, but a better dictating program is Dragon Naturally Speaking. You read lots of passages of writing to train it to your voice, so it makes as few mistakes as possible.
     
  14. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    I love writing longhand beacause it has a certain sensuality, as in the smell of paper and the lines of the letters. Plus you get an intresting visual result on the page, seeing the actual effort in all the crossing out and drawing. Longhand is good for journals and thoughts.

    Having said that, I mostly type on my pc these days, strictly for practical reasons (saving time, etc). It has it's own distinct charm. Typing is good for essays and longer pieces of writing.

    Conclusion: I can do both, depending on my mood or circumstances. I guess I should feel happy!
     
  15. Honeybun
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    Honeybun Active Member

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    Same as most folks above, I like the longhand version of writing a story. It gives me more time to think, whereas when using a pc... I feel so rushed into it.

    But PCs are valuable objects in the process of writing, and resorting to them are inevitable... so, what I do, is write a chapter in longhand, then type it - gives me a chance to edit on the way - and so on...

    Hope this helps


    Good luck and keep it up ;)
     
  16. Kahlem
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    Kahlem New Member

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    I used to type long hand, but I agree, it does get tiring.I also tend to lose papers and notebooks easier than files.
     
  17. MelissaLynne
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    MelissaLynne Member

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    I like to write long handed myself. Its easier for me that way, my ideas seem to flow smoothly. If I try to type a story out of thin air, my mind is as blank as the computer screen. Writing it comes more natural. Typing the whole thing afterwards is a pain, but its worth it once you finish! I think of it as a long boring chore that feels so worth it in the end. Besides once I start typing it I can easily spot my errors and fix them.
     
  18. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I used to like writing longhand, but in 8th grade I figured out that writing a lot by hand is a pain. My hand cramps up really fast if I write by hand for too long, the pencil hurts my hand, graphite smears and makes my hand dirty, yeah....

    So I just started typing anything I felt like writing, whether it was a fanfic or one of my original stories.

    Although sometimes I might write stuff out by hand. Like maybe some little chapter parts that come to me or, in the case of my Demon Story, I'll write out an outline so that I can have it with my all the time.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    My penmenship is lousy, and I'm like Kirvee in that if I write for too long, my hand starts to cramp up on me.

    I like to use the computer b/c I can organize it and find things quicker. :)
     
  20. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    @Link: And the computer also has an automatic spell/grammar checker.
     
  21. mistressoftheflies
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    mistressoftheflies Member

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    I don't know why anyone would choose to write in longhand when they have a computer available, but that's just me. I want to get my story out quickly and not spend time writing it on paper and then typing it all up. I guess you'd get really intimate with your story with all the extra work, though!
     
  22. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    I think it just comes down to what the author is comfortable with.

    Apparently some best-sellers are started with long-hand. I seem to recall hearing that the first Harry Potter book was partially written on a napkin with pen.....
     
  23. amateur
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    amateur Member

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    im quicker at writing as im quite a slow typer. usually i write it on paper if i know it's going to be a long project but if i feel i can write it quite quickly i will write it on the computer. or if the project is very important to me.
     
  24. alchemy
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    alchemy New Member

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    Hi,

    I write all my work on page before I type a word, even with simple things such as Uni assignments and the like. Just my personal style, as I find it hard to sit down at a keyboard and spew words out, I rather scratch them out on hard copy. I think it's just comes down to personal preference.
     
  25. AmandaC
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    AmandaC Member

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    I hate writing longhand. My hand can't keep up with my brain. Thankfully I type much faster than I can write longhand. I almost feel like it cripples me. I only jot down notes, ideas, etc. longhand if I'm away from home and have to.
     

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