It is an old argument; should we write on the computer or write by hand? Honestly it comes down to whatever works for you. My first manuscript was nearly entirely written by hand in the first draft and was typed out several years later and has since undergone a massive restructuring but some of the original lines have stuck all the way through, which is nice. I haven’t tried to duplicate the effort since it is much easier to edit if I just type it out to begin with. Here are my 5 reasons to type rather than handwrite.
1. I can type much faster than I can write. Much, much faster than I can write and I can almost always read the results.
2. I can type without looking at anything in particular so I can shut my eyes and go for it. I cannot write by hand with my eyes shut. This helps me to focus on the story I am writing and to visualise the scene I’m trying to describe or the character I’m currently introducing.
3. It is harder to lose information. Not impossible – we all know computers crash, break and fail massively, but it is harder to lose things. I have at least three copies of most data and I make sure I regularly back everything up so I’m not too worried about losing entire drafts. I have misplaced notebooks and entire print outs of drafts though. That is quite annoying. Plus my cat eats paper (not joking) and it is really hard to edit a manuscript with a cat trying to eat the page you are reading.
4. Spell check. No, you should not rely entirely on spell check as it has quite a few issues but it does catch the out right silly errors that you make while typing quickly with your eyes shut. Spell check is definitely a friend.
5. As I said in the introduction – editing. So much easier to make changes and adjustments on the screen then in a note book. By the time you cross this, circle that, draw arrows indicating where that should go, and you get to your twentieth footnote, the notebook becomes unreadable.
These are my 5 reasons as to why I type instead of hand write (for the most part). What are yours? Or do you still hand write?
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