Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Writing by Hand

I'm getting close to the climax of the novel, and the end of the journal I'm writing in, and I'm wanting to start entering it into Liquid Story Binder, but I'm so, so committed to finishing this in handwritten form, first.

You see, when I first started writing, I didn't have a computer, or even a typewriter. So I wrote by hand; even though my handwriting is atrocious (so utterly, utterly atrocious, as you can see in the picture) it was what I had.

When I started using a computer, my handwritten tendencies fell by the wayside, and I noticed that my prose actually sounded worse. I type SO fast that my fingers get ahead of my head, whereas with the handwritten work, it forced me to take the time to write it out, so my head stays well ahead of my fingers.

So went and bought a lovely little blank journal, and started writing by hand again. It's worked.
It's also easier to write distraction-free, since I can't surf the internet with a notebook. I lay down in bed, every night before I go to sleep, and write. Sometimes just a paragraph or two, sometimes, a few pages that keep me up until I finish the scene. Always something.

Here's my lovely little journal. Red isn't one of my favorite colors, ordinarily, but I really love the design of this one. I added the little brown ribbon as a sort of "handle", and also use it to distinguish mine from my husbands that he accidentally purchased independently in the exact same cover.

I scribble away, and feel so very writerly. The best part about it is that it fits in my purse, so I can take it with me wherever I go. I could write on the iPod touch, sure, but it would be tedious, and iPod would always be attempting to correct my spelling. Shapewriter's fun, but too difficult to use for any length of time. And I MUST have a Pilot Precise pen.I prefer V5, but ended up accidentally buying V7. Lines are thicker, but it still looks good, so I can use them.

So I need to finish out this novel, and one day, when I'm published and famous, this will be something I can show off at conferences as how I got my start. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to hock it on ebay for a few thousands bucks, eh?

One of those random memes

The first batch of text I wrote gave me Dan Brown. I found that... uncool. so I chose a different blog post.

I write like
Vladimir Nabokov

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Unemployment means more writing time, right?

So I got laid off from my sweet, awesome job. This sucks for the finances, but you know something? This means LOTS of writing time. I've been carrying my little red notebook around, scribbling, and I've written probably around 20k in the past couple of weeks. I'm rather happy with that. At the very least, I write for an hour or two before bed. Today, I've spent most of the day with the notebook in my lap, writing a paragraph here and there between distractions (It's very hard to write with a toddler and a preschooler around.)

I've really begun honing my writing process. I do better without the distractions of computers and the internet when I'm getting my initial ideas down; so a little leather-bound notebook is the way to go for me. It just... feels right. It's how I learned to write, it's how I've always done it. The only thing that sucks is it makes my arthritis act up. To the universe: I know it seemed like a funny idea to give arthritis to a teenager, but that was WAY uncool. If it hurts this much now that I'm in my thirties, it's gonna suck when I'm all old and stuff.

My mother showed me a book one of her customers had handed her. It made me hurt for the author; it was clearly self published, too. A no-name publishing house, based locally. What makes me sad about these things is they sell themselves short; I scanned through the book, and her writing wasn't that bad. It could have stood a little professional editing, but overall, it seemed readable. She suffered from the terminal "said" disease (you know, the inability to use the word "said" in dialogue.) and there were some rambling bits. I was impressed with the quality.

It's never a good sign, though, when the author is giving away the books in convenience stores.

What bothered me more than anything wasn't the fact that this author published her own book, it's that she created her own "publishing company" that advertises its services to other authors, and that she didn't bother to get a professional to design her website. She didn't even get a separate URL for her publishing company... it's just her own name. "", you know.

Here's something I'll tell anyone: If you're not a professional web designer? Don't do it yourself, and don't hire a friend who doesn't do it for a living. As with any business, using a professional makes all of the difference. As a web designer myself, I can promise... no you can't do it on your own. It's not something just anyone can do, and do well. There are elements of design that will show your lack of expertise. Do yourself a favor, and pay someone else. The investment will be worth it!

That reminds me... I REALLY need to start working on mine! After all, I'm officially a degreed web designer now... as of June!

Anyway, now that I've rambled on enough, I'll wrap it up, and I'll keep you updated on my progress. Heck... I think I'll break out the camera and take some pictures of my notebook for you.