Last November I participated in NaNoWriMo for the the fourth time and I won. But I cheated a little and used an idea I had been working on since May. From May to August I wrote 25,000 words BY HAND!
While I was writing my story, BY HAND, I realized some things about the structure of the story. I realized that the exposition was drawn out way longer than it needed to be (which happens with every rough draft I write). I also figured out what scenes I could cut to speed things up. So when November rolled around I decided to do a basic rewrite of what I had already written. I used very little of the original and I definitely improved my story.
It may seem like writing those 25,000 words by hand was a waste of time. However, anything that improves your story should be done, right? Plus there is just something about a blank piece of paper and a pen that just flows, isn't there? So below is a list of reasons to write your story by hand.
1. Planning. You can think about where the story is going as you are writing, because you are writing more slowly.
2. Tighter Writing. You're less likely to clutter the story up with words when you are painstakingly writing them all by hand than when you are typing them easily on the computer. This means your writing will be tighter and more to the point.
3. Margins. You can make notes on the story in the margin. This is great for when you think of a plot point to include later in the story. I like to use my margins for questions I'm going to need to research later. That way when I go back and type the story up, I can edit it along the way and do the research then.
4. 2nd Draft. Once you type it up, you can say you're on your second draft because you are bound to change things, transferring your words to the computer.
5. Back Up. You won't lose your first draft if your computer crashes because you'll have a hard copy. Just make sure you don't lose that notebook.
Bonus reason: Health. Your eyes won't be so strained from looking at screens for hours at a time.
Those are the reasons I came up with for writing my story by hand first, then typing it up second. Do you guys have any other reasons for writing by hand that I missed? Have you ever tried writing a story or a novel by hand before? Was it a good experience? A bad one? Does it depend on the project for you, whether you write by hand or type it? Tell me about it in the comments below. I'd love to chat.
Keep on Creating,
K. A. Jairl
K. A. Jairl
My name is Kim and I'm glad you stopped by. This is where I post my triumphs and my downfalls as I fight the good fight of being a writer mom everyday.