Monday, December 18, 2006

Writing methods

There are various ways for a writer to work. I'll mention a few below, and my opinions of them, but keep in mind I'm only talking about the actual writing process. Editing and other work can be for another post.

Longhand method: Some writers write their stories out by hand, usually in a notebook or pad of sorts. Then, when finished, they proceed to type the work into a computer or on a typewriter, or they have someone else type it for them. I've tried this method a few times, but my hand tires too much, and I can't write fast enough to keep up with my brain. One of the great things about this method of writing is the cost: A pad and a few pencils cost only a few dollars, though finding a typewriter or typist might run you some more bucks.

Recording: Some authors actually carry around a recording device of some kind, and they record their own voice as they "speak" the story. Then, later, they type the story up or have someone else type it. I've tried this method only once or twice, and I found it laborious. I'll skip it, thanks.

Typewriter: This is a more traditional method, where one types their story straight onto a page with a typewriter. There are some drawbacks to this, mainly having to deal with mistakes while typing. This method is nearly forgotten nowadays, as the typewriter has been replaced by computers.

Word processing: This is probably the most common manner for writers to write today. They type their stories directly into word processing software on their computer. This method allows for easy editing and revision, and saves your story in a file without taking up the space a bulky manuscript would. The main drawback to this method of writing is the cost; computers, paper and ink cartridges can be expensive. Still, this is the method of writing I normally use.

There probably are a few other writing methods I've forgotten, or I'm not as familiar with (stone tablets and a chisel come to mind), but feel free to let me know of something different than I've mentioned.

1 comment:

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Pinprick and blood drip, the oldest ink of all. Though rather limited in supply, I'd imagine.

The conditions under which writing occurs greatly effects its manner of production as well. I, for example, work my real job as an emergency dispatcher. This requires me to remain chained to a desk all shift by radio headset, phone, and computer terminal. No personal electronics are allowed - but writing and reading material is. While there are many emergencies, they are not 24/7, and so, I have time to read and write.

I can fly handwriting. Messiness doesn't matter, arrows work for rearranging and I can carry pad and pen far more places than I can carry a laptop (in addition to the fact a laptop is out of my expense range at the moment).

I do carry a small 4 hour recording device in my pocket - this allows me to save ideas at any time they come to me, then I download the sound files via USB and have the filed in appropriate categories on my home computer.

I've been experimenting with voice recognition software in an effort to dictate to my computer what I've written in a day but so far it's not working as well as it might.

I wrote my last story entirely by typing it at the computer and I plan on doing more of that. If I can get the voice software to work I think that has the most potential, but I don't foresee ever giving up the longhand method. It feels most real to me, most authentic.