by Alison Clifford
This is getting into some of the nitty-gritty of writing. It’s easy to say ‘sit down and write’, but what tools do you use for writing? What is the best way to write?
There are two main ways: use pen/pencil and paper, or use technology. By technology, I mean laptops, computers, and tablets in general. I’m not going to go into individual programs here.
Pen and Paper
Some argue that this method gets the writer more in touch with the creative process. There’s the texture of the paper, the feel of the pen, and the movements as you craft your words. I’ve read that it allows the creative process to flow better, for the imagination to be more involved, and it certainly works for many writers. The slower process of writing by hand allows the writer time to develop the story as they go, perceiving nuances and letting the subconscious be heard.
There are some drawbacks with writing with pen and paper. Editing a hand written manuscript can be messy, and at some point it will need to be typed up, which can be done as part of the editing process. Adding paragraphs can be difficult, but with care and organisation, it can work well.
I use a laptop when I write. I like to get the story out as fast as I can, and being able to touch-type helps me to do that. When I wrote as a teenager I used to get frustrated by how slow it was. I do agree that the faster process doesn’t always allow the imagination time to work, but it’s easy enough to go back and add things in later. Editing is much easier, as is inserting paragraphs, changing words, names, and locations using Find/Replace functions. One of the big drawbacks is technology can fail or run out of battery power. Having a good backup process in place can minimise any potential for loss, but once the battery runs out, unless you have access to a socket, you are stuck.
Technology also eliminates the need to type out a completed manuscript, and if you plan to self-publish, you will need your manuscript electronically.
When it all boils down, what method a writer uses is purely personal choice. There is no wrong or right way, it’s about what works for each person. Paper, technology, or both.
The most important thing is that they write.
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