Thursday, 8 November 2012

Longhand magic

I've been reading a lot lately about how beneficial it is to write longhand.  I like the clack-clack of keys, and watching the words appear like magic on the screen...but I thought it might be refreshing to pick up a pen again.  So I've been writing some stories and fragments/scenes in longhand, and trying to ignore the finger cramp (it's probably character building).

I can't say that it's given me any sort of creative rush, although it is good to have a change. I did especially like the added freedom it gave me - I found myself writing at times and in places when I might have made excuses before, like sitting at the swimming pool waiting for two little people to finish splashing through their lesson.

The worst thing about writing longhand, though, is when you want to alter what you've written. There's a self-deception if you are working on a screen - if a paragraph goes wrong, or a plotline wriggles free from your grasp and goes meandering down peaceful (yet dull) lanes, it's a simple matter to delete your words with a click and drag, and then forget they ever existed. On paper, your scribblings out remind you of all you've done wrong. For me, they muddle my thinking - the discarded plot hovers in my vision and threatens to trip me up, and every time I look at the crossings out I get that sinking feeling of all that is going wrong rather than being uplifted by all that is going right...

What works for other writers?

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