Hand Writing

A few months ago, if you'd asked me if I would ever consider hand writing something more than flash fiction, I would've answered with "Heck no!"

Guess what I did?

Hand wrote half a novel. Thanks/no thanks to creative writing class where I'm required to hand write everything, I hand wrote 65 pages to Fire.

Like everything, hand writing works for some people and doesn't work for others. But here are some advantages and disadvantages of hand writing.

  • You can hand write anywhere with a pencil and some notebook paper. You just can't carry a laptop everywhere you go and jot down a few words every few minutes. I wrote some in every class, including lunch. I couldn't have done that if it had been on my laptop.
  • Much easier to share a notebook with someone that a laptop.
  • You don't lose the entire draft if your computer crashes and you've failed to back it up.
  • You can doodle in the margins when writers' block strikes.
  • You can revise as you type up the draft.
  • No worries about the laptop battery running out in the middle of a writing spree if you don't carry the charger with you everywhere.
  • Hand cramps. I'm not used to hand writing so after a couple of pages my entire hand will start to ache. It's gotten better this year, but I still can't hand write for too long.
  • Risk of losing an entire draft if you leave it somewhere, misplace it, or spill that cup of coffee on it.
  • Always the chance of running out of pencil lead or notebook paper when there's still more to be written.
  • Harder to make corrections and add things or notes onto notebook paper than it is on a laptop. Especially if you single space.
  • If you're like me, you hand write slower than you can type. This can be a good or a bad thing depending.


M.J. Horton said…
My old stories are all on paper. I get to see the pros and cons of both of these with this novel. The first 100 pages are on the computer, another 80 on paper (I was on vacation. Hehe.) and the last 90 or so will end up back on the computer. Jumbled mess, I know.
i usually handwrite snippets of dialogue and scenes that come to me out of order in my notes book while working on my MS chronologically on the computer. I also tend to choose my words better when I handwrite, not sure why? usually my drfats of handwriting are pretty clean and dont need much editing, wheras on the computer i do lots of fiddling with verbs/adjectives and syntax.

yay for doodling :)


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