Call me weird, old-fashioned or unhinged, but I prefer writing out what I want each chapter to contain. Sometimes, I don’t even make it to the end, but I do my best work when I use the good old, tried-and-true pen and paper. I’m one of those ‘easily led astray while pretending to do research on the internet’ type of people. So when I know my time is coming to actually do some work, I leave the phone in another room, put away the tablet and shut off the TV. Sometimes, even the computer goes off and I grab one of my (many) notebooks to get my jam going.
And considering that we’re a quarter the way through this year’s NaNoWriMo, I’ll hammer in all the focus I can get and take advantage of every quiet time I find. After all how else am I to realistically get 50k words hammered out in the next 23 days?
With most of my books that I’ve managed to write in 3 months or less, I’ve gone with the ‘handwrite don’t type’ philosophy. However, I can honestly say that strategy is not 100% fool-proof. If and when I need to do some research and visit the inter-web, time will be wasted.
In this case, I guess my books would contain my first draughts and what’s transferred to the computer is the second draught since most times I change, cut or edit what’s already written. And this is where things get messy. Because for some unknown reason I have up to four notebooks with a single story. Yes, you’ve read that right I said four. And no, they are not full to cause me to switch. I’d simply write in whatever book I find if I misplace the original. And if I can’t find the alternate book, I’ll write in a third. And so it goes. So, obviously, this is not a strategy I would recommend to everyone. Especially if you can’t keep track of a single notebook for each story.
Also, something to keep in mind. Not everything will or should find itself in a notebook. For example, if I know what I want to know and the words are flowing deliciously, I’ll glue myself to the computer instead. So mostly my notebooks are for when I’m stuck or need to slowly work through things. I also write on paper at random moments throughout the day at work or even at the beauty parlour. Yes, at least one notebook is with me all the time. Why? My stories are always in my head, so naturally, they’ll be filled with scenes and character study.
When it comes to editing and proofreading, however, I type, print and edit by hand. Slam it all back into the computer and repeat. I know, I know, it’s not eco-friendly. But it works far better than doing it on the computer. Blame me, but it’s just the way my brain works. Otherwise, I’ll read through a single error-laden chapter 10 times in digital format and still miss half the errors. Put it on paper though, and they’ll shine like glass in sunshine.
So what do you think? Are you ready to try the ‘handwrite don’t type’ philosophy? Or am I crazy for essentially writing my book by hand?