Last night, in preparation for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ve finally typed up all my notes on my WIP. I’ve got notes that go back to May of last year! (I date them as I go.) Oh how my story ideas have morphed over time.
I’m the kind of person who likes to write my notes and ideas by hand; usually on random pieces of paper, hence the need to get them all together and type them up. I like the tactile feel of writing by hand and I write only in pen. This makes is so that I don’t self-edit or erase.
I guess this comes from the good ol’ school days when computers were a luxury (the floppy discs were actually “floppy”) and you hand wrote your essays in pencil and then turned in a nice handwritten final copy in pen. Later on, when school computers were more accessible, you typed up, “single spaced please,” your final draft essays. So now I always have the frame of mind that when I type it gets edited on the go and it needs to be perfect and professional. My family and I have always been behind on technology; having a single mom and not being able to afford the latest and greatest, and “all that jazz”. An at home computer wasn’t available until later on and only for school essay and Mom’s college work.
In high school, I discovered free writing. An English teacher had ten minute free writing sessions at the beginning of every class. You had to write in pen continuously for ten minutes. No erasing, no crossing out, no editing. Just write, write, write… If you ran out of ideas you could write the last word you wrote over and over again until something else came to mind. Nothing makes your brain change subject like having to rewrite a word a few times. “The picnic in the park had been lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely… Until the car crashed into a tree nearby.”
Sometimes when I free write, I’m the only one who can read my own handwriting. That’s ok because I really the only one that matters. Not that I have bad handwriting, but when I write in an inspired frenzy, all the “rules” go out the window. Everything “proper” and “correct” waves bye-bye! It’s so much more organic; unlocks my creative mind. Eventually, I’ll learn to overcome typing perfectionism. Until then, bring on the hand cramps!
So I’ve typed up ALL my notes. Now what? I read over everything I have and……… write more notes (in the margins). Type notes, write notes, type notes…. (I even edit this way.) Organize these random brainstorming-liness goodies into a structural outline that will, hopefully, get me from start to finish with my story.
I’m amazed that my total amount of notes has already reached around 8,000 words. Too bad they don’t even count (sad face.) And of course the late nights have already begun; it’s not even April 1st yet, but I’m on a deadline people!
Four days to Camp NaNoWriMo!
Which do you prefer, typing or writing by hand? Or are you a “best of both worlds” kind or person?