All right. It’s no secret here on the blog that I love to write longhand when I’m working on a novel. I’ve pretty much alternated project-to-project with how I write it, whether it’s straight into the computer or longhand first.
I’ve discovered time and again that I do prefer writing longhand first. Here’s why.
1) Writing longhand helps me to focus on story over word count. I can estimate a word count, but that’s only an average count. Some pages might come out with far fewer words, depending on how much dialogue is there. (I’m a classic under-writer and have to add in scenery so I have more than just floating heads.)
2) No internet. Internet=evil. Internet use is counter to productivity. If you write longhand you’re not on the computer. Far fewer distractions.
3) Ease of editing. Okay, now I know what you’re thinking. How easy can editing be when you’re writing on paper and it’s hard to erase? You don’t edit when you’re actually writing it. The quick edits come when you’re typing it into the computer. So often as I’m transcribing I find that the saids which are so easy to write out when you’re on a roll aren’t necessary. Also, you get to really see just how conversations are working as you type it out fresh rather than looking at what’s already typed in a future edit and wondering how the scene is working.
4) Portability. I can take my notebook and iPod pretty much anywhere I want. Yes, I do have the project binder sitting on my lap so I can reference maps and calendars and all the rest that I need, but the notebook is so much lighter than an actual computer.