Posts Tagged With: fickle mistress

Writing: From notebook to computer

Today’s post is a rumination on that fickle mistress, Typing. Specifically, the typing that occurs when you spend days and days slaving away writing out a scene by hand in your notebook, and then begin copying said scene onto your computer.

Intellectually, this should be the easiest thing in the world. Take what’s written, copy it word for word into the Word doc, save the file, and call it a day. But like many writers, I am a perfectionist. As I type each word, I think to myself, “Is this the best word? Surely there’s a more eloquent way to communicate Bob the Elephant’s intense hatred for fancy cheese trays.” And then the re-writing begins.

A simple task that should have taken a mere fifteen minutes now develops into three arduous hours of typing, deleting, typing, deleting, flipping through notebook pages to make sure I didn’t say something similar later in the scene, more typing, more deleting … MADNESS! UTTER MADNESS!

Of course, the net result is that the scene turns out far superior to how I had it written down in my notebook. But it makes me wonder … if I had skipped the notebook step and gone straight to computer, how differently would the scene have turned out? Would it have ended differently, had I not used my first, hand-written run at the scene to work out the kinks? Would it be worse? Better? Exactly the same?

These musings were brought to you by my cold cup of peppermint tea, which languished in winter’s icy chill due to the fact that I forgot about it and left it sitting on the counter for thirty minutes.


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