Monday, May 17, 2010

What Is Your Right Way To Write?

The Page-a-Day Challenge is off to a great start. I hand wrote fourteen pages this weekend. Woo-hoo! Then again, it was the weekend and I had a lot more time to work on my writing than during the work week. We'll see where this week leads!

A few of you commented on my writing technique, which I hadn't given much though to. But perhaps it is unusual that I hand write everything first. I can't sit down and type.

First, I'm too distracted by the Internet. If I tried to come up with new writing and had the Internet in the background, I'd be on everything but Word. E-mail, Facebook, Bananarepublic.com and Publishers Marketplace are way too tempting for me. I need to have my writing done before I sit down.

Second, I write scene by scene and I like to have my ideas "cook" for awhile. I never know when my ideas are going to be done "cooking." I've been known to type in a parking lot, right after I get out of the shower (for some reason I get my best ideas there!), in bed with a flashlight in the middle of the night and a lot of other random places. I carry my journal around everywhere (I purposely got a purse big enough to fit my journal in at all time). I never know when a scene starts begging to be written.

I also write in a very disjointed way. My chapters often start in pieces and then I like to spread the papers around and see how it all fits. If I handwrite something, I'm able to do that before I type it up in the order I want. Very random, I know, but it works for me.

I've never given much thought to handwriting my work, but I can see how it may be unique to some. I look at it as a sort of first draft, and then when I type things up and revise my words, I'm creating a second draft.

What about you? How do you write? What works best for you?

13 comments:

Janet Johnson said...

I like to mix it up. Handwriting and typing. But yes, internet is a tempation (*blush*). But I LOVE that you type in a parking lot sometimes. Very cool.

Sarah Enni said...

I don't always write longhand, but I actually think it would be better if I did, for all the reasons you listed. Not only does it give you the chance to proof your work when you type it in later, I also find that when I'm writing longhand I am more forgiving. It's okay to make mistakes, just keep writing, it's only longhand anyway. It feels a lot more official when it's in Word!

And I am with you 100% on the internet distractions. They are killer.

Rachele Alpine said...

Sarah...

I agree about making it okay for mistakes when writing. My writing is a mess of crossed out words, arrors and smudges. If I did that when typing, I'd never finish my a book because I'd be deleting and retyping everything!

Janet...

I type in the strangest places...people must think I'm nuts!

Kristan said...

Ditto what Janet said, including the blush. :P

My "method" is probably an 80/20 mix of computer/journal. I also do a lot of brainstorming while I drive (not a long commute, but long enough) and sometimes I have to make a voice memo on my cell phone so I don't forget my good ideas!

Lisa Nowak said...

Wow, I'm impressed that you had a fourteen day weekend. ;) Lend me that time-stopping device when you get through with it, huh?

Rachele Alpine said...

Lisa...I wish I had a time stopping skill like that! I set the goal to sit down and write a page a day, but my pages turned into more on Saturday. That's always a good surprise!

Matthew Rush said...

Your method sounds pretty dedicated. That would be awesome to have so many ideas that it would require carrying a note book like that.

For me I just send myself a text message if I think of something while away from my computer.

When I actually write it's mostly just word vomit at first.

Taffy said...

I like to hand write too. I write faster than w/o as many mistakes as I would on the computer.
I have little notebooks/post-its/napkins everywhere that get used. The I type it all in the computer.

Payton L. Inkletter said...
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Payton L. Inkletter said...
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Payton L. Inkletter said...

I would much prefer to be able to do all my writing with the computer, and be online, to check spellings, facts, names, as I go.

I also have the embarrassing problem of often being unable to decipher my own long hand writing when I write drafts for my book projects! Last year my daughter retrieved a gem that I simply could not decipher from my own hand; how she did it I don't know - young eyes, sharp mind helped a lot.

Having said this I have a small mountain of long hand notes scattered everywhere.

All the best Rachele with your novel Canary, and all your writing to come.

Angie Paxton said...

I've tried longhand and I find it frustrating. I type much faster than I write and I think much faster than I type. I forget my ideas when I'm writing longhand, but I really do need to start carrying a notebook for those ideas that grab me in the middle of the grocery story and whatnot.

Eileen Wiedbrauk said...

Instead of a purse big enough for a journal I got a journal small enough for a purse! (or a pocket!) I love the little moleskin books for that. There's ALWAYS one with me.