What is your writing process? I mean the physical process of turning your story into a document. Four and a half years ago, I sat down with a spiral-bound notebook and began writing a story. I filled that notebook and another and another with my first book. Then I joined a critique group which required legible copies of my chapters. Thus began my love/hate relationship with the computer.
The critiqued chapters stacked up. I noted the suggestions in a revision notebook. Then I sat down with a printed copy of the manuscript, the revision notebook and a pen. I scribbled changes in the white space, slogged back to the computer and pecked at the keyboard. That first book was rewritten a few times and I considered it a learning experience. As my writing grew, my process changed. I kept a notebook for each book, others for short stories and queries but each week I entered the new material into the computer.
I gradually abandoned the notebooks and for the last couple years, most of my work is typed on the keyboard. I still use the notebooks to jot story ideas and sometimes story beginnings but after a page or two, I'm cozied up to Microsoft. I feel like a sell-out, somehow. I'm a hands-on, creative type. I enjoy art touched by fingers and homemade crafts. I admire writers who wrote books by hand and poked at clackety typewriters. Several months back, I hit a wall in my writing and nothing I tried knocked it down, not plotting or character studies, not switching stories or genres, not even taking a break. Then I thought, why not go back to your beginning, dust off the notebooks, step away from the computer. It wasn't an instant fix but that notebook felt like an old friend and I did write in it. Now, I'm trying to stay conscious of my nature, take mini-vacations from technology and reconnect with pen and paper.
Hi, Susan. I started out with notebooks too. And index cards. I made one card for each character, an easy reference for facts about them. I have several notebooks filled for every story, but I did start to slowly make most of my notes in file form on my computer. I like to get away from technology too. I take long walks and think about the story I'm working on. Ideas will come when I'm driving, before I fall asleep and while I'm waking, even in dreams. So I keep some paper nearby and jot them down.
8/3/2012 01:14:01 am
Great point, Maureen! Our low tech childhood fostered creativity. Books are written today to accomodate people's shortened attention spans. What will writers of tomorrow write? And how will they focus on story when so much of their time is spent on the internet? I believe imagination will prevail but young writers certainly lack the abundance of quiet we were blessed with.
I "write" solely on my computer. I type much faster than I can handwrite, and quite frankly, *I* can read it. ;-)
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I write middle grade and young adult books with a magical twist. I'm represented by the fabulous Leslie Zampetti of Dunham Lit.
Lorin Oberweger - Freelance Editor