Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hand Written Manuscripts

I love hand writing manuscripts.  The only issue is, I also despise hand writing manuscripts.

Getting to the computer to write isn't always an option.  Neither is using that as an excuse to keep from writing.  Enter the notepad format.

Writing out long hand actually has some benefits.  Usually it means I'm not on a computer, so fighting the many distractions is easier.  I can write pretty much anywhere too.  The writing itself seems to flow a little bit quicker in that format.

But you know what?  Publishers won't accept my handwritten manuscripts.  You can't blame them for that.  I wouldn't accept them either.

Typically, I can finish a short story or novel chapter quicker if I'm writing longhand.  It's not because of typing speed- I'm pretty fast.  It's just- I'm not limited to location, and sometimes the ideas fall onto the paper better in this format.

Then I retype.  Or is it type?  I try not to edit as I do this, but it's pretty much impossible not to tweak a little.  I'm a minimalist writer when it comes to first drafts.  Transferring a 2500 word story from paper to computer will usually add about 300-500 more words. Then in revising, I'll reduce that by about 100-200 words.  Or so.  It all depends.

All that to say, I love hand writing stories.  It's quick and I get strong stories.

And I hate it.  It takes roughly twice as long start to finish.  I wrote the last short story in about three days.  It took me that long to type it out again.

What's a writer to do?