Tuesday, August 25, 2009
How We Write
By Linda Hall
Going along with Lynette’s excellent column yesterday on pantsing vs. plotting, I thought I would add my two cents: It used to be that when people would ask me ‘how’ I wrote, I would mumble an answer about outlining and plotting. But, I never did answer the question directly. Maybe I was just too embarrassed.
But after 17 books, I’ve decided to come clean about my methods. ☺ I write my manuscripts by hand. Yes, I know – that’s archaic in our age of technology when we should be beaming our thoughts to our computers and have them come out in legible and lyrical sentences - but it seems to work for me.
I think I need that kinetic movement of my hand to generate ideas from my brain to the paper. But the news isn't all bad – I know Shorthand from my news-reporting days. My first drafts tend to be illegible shorthand scrawls done with medium point gel pens on ‘good-one-side’ paper that I get from the 'recycle' bin at the University when my husband works.
After my first draft is written, I ‘read’ it into my computer using voice recognition software. I then print it off, and begin re-writing and revising, and adding more illegible (to everyone else) scrawls.
My point in all this is that each one of us has to come up with the writing process that works. It’s good to get ideas on ‘how’ to write. Then try them out. Use what does work and eliminate what doesn't work.