Over the last week or so, I’ve been handwriting a story draft. I began because it was convenient to handwrite it at the time – I am very fond of my pens and notebooks, so one of each is generally to hand, and I wasn’t in the same room as a computer – and I continued because… well, I still had the pen and notebook handy, and I was curious.
First, it’s much easier to not get distracted while handwriting. I usually still have my phone with me, but when there isn’t an open browser window or a notification sitting in the corner of my eye, it does get easier to concentrate.
Second, it’s much slower – I can type easily twice as fast as I write, probably more. On the plus side, this means that I’m much less likely to feel like I’m adrift as I sit and stare at a blank page, because I am still writing out the words that I’ve composed in my head after I’ve composed them. On the downside, once I warm up, I cannot quite keep up with writing down everything I am coming up with, and that’s frustrating. I’m seriously considering looking into learning shorthand.
Also, I suspect this is a possible side-effect of it being slower: I’m coming up with more ideas of how to expand the story as I’m writing it, possibly just because I am spending more time thinking about any one particular moment in the story, and that gives me space to muse on what it could branch out into being.
It’s interesting. There’s a climactic scene and the dénouement left, and then I’ll have my first fully handwritten draft in years complete.
(Tangentially: this is also an incredibly effective way to use up fountain pen ink, even if you aren’t prone to fiddling with your pen and accidentally blotting yourself as I am. I’m not sure my 2ml sample of Astorquiza Rot will last until the end of the story.)
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