The magic of pen and paper

I really did write half of my first novel long hand.  I have the college ruled notebooks to prove it.  I even have the rewrites of my first five or so chapters in long hand.  I don’t remember who but someone asked the other day on Twitter, if someone could write a novel without typing.  I believe I could, if given enough time.

I like writing in a notebook.  There is something very comforting and relaxing about the paper and pen in my hand.  I find that I can brainstorm much more efficiently and ideas come much easier.  I don’t have the tendency to back space or wipe out entire paragraphs with the click of a mouse.  My characters find their voice with a pen in my hand.

I do not have a laptop, so I always carry a pad of paper around.  It might be to just take a few notes or to write a scene, but I always have one.  My handwriting goes from being quite legible to nearly unreadable depending on how quickly the scene is running through my head.  Legibly, it is slow and easy.  Unreadable- quick action or dialogue.

I have said before that I “see” the scenes in the back of my head that I write about.  When a notebook is in hand, it is much more clear, more firm in my mind.  The computer seems much more of a distraction.

However, I cannot write as fast as I can type.  I often misspell words, and believe me, no scanner is going to be able to decipher my scratches on a page.  Typing I can produce about 1,000 or a bit more at times in an hour.  Longhand I can only do about half of that.  But my words are placed better.  Maybe it is magic the way that words seem to fall in to place on the paper.  Maybe it is just habit.

My manuscripts often have little doodles on the pages.  Sometimes an object, other times a face.  I’ll get suck and doodle a bit, then go back to writing.  You can’t do that with a computer document.  That little shift from writing to art often jogs a bit of clarity into the writing, smooths out what I need to work on, shifts my mind into a passive phase so that the puzzle can become clear.  A few minutes then I can work again.

I know that I will be getting a netbook, hopefully in the next few months.  Computers are just too easy to work with at times.  Having my various manuscripts in one neat file may help me keep my writing going.  However, I will always keep my notebooks handy.  They developed my first love of writing.

What kind of writing do you prefer?  Notebook or computer or other?

Why do you prefer this type?


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