Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Writing Process

I'm a great fan of writing by hand. I very rarely start a poem at the computer, much more often I will scribble out ideas and drafts in a notebook, and then type it up later.

When I want to revise, I print it out so I can read it on paper instead of the screen, and then I scribble revisions on it before amending the computer file.

I didn't think that novelists worked like that any more though - I imagined that the slowness of longhand must mean that they all work at the computer these days. So I was delighted to read Emma Darwin's blog post about her process - she writes long hand in journals, using the right hand pages only, and leaving the left hand page for notes. There's a nice photograph with the post, too. She types it into the computer later. It sounds as if it's a method that would suit me, if I ever write a novel, or am foolish enough to attempt NaNoWriMo.

Emma's is my favourite writer's blog, because it has none of the tedious "my novel is up to page 100" or "got my proofs back from the publisher" sort of posts that seem to fill most writer's blogs. (Or at least, these sorts of things are there, but only in snippets.) Mostly, her blog discusses the art of writing in a really interesting way. It is directed at novelists, but I still find it a great read.

As an aside, I found a mention on Carolee's blog of a book "The Writers Retreat Kit" by Judy Reeves and went to Fishpond to check it out. Fishpond is the New Zealand version of Amazon. Since we are a small country, some strange things happen on Fishpond. For instance the "people who bought this book also bought.." brings up very odd pairings. And today they didn't disappoint me. Apparently I can get a great double deal on "A Writers Book of Days" also by Judy Reeves, if I buy it along with "Making Latex Clothes". To which I can only say "huh?????" (Or as my children would write, WTF?)

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