Writing Quirks?

A place for writer's to congregate and commiserate about the life of the writer. Discuss techniques for fixing your prose, livening up your dialogue, or awakening your muse. Also share in writing victories, be they publication or contest winnings.

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hyperfine
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Postby hyperfine » Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:17 am

I can't stand gel pens either. I use ordinary cheap ballpoint pens, blue ink alomst always. I use pencils for outlines/notes/editing and I am crazy about having them sharp. And I always write my first drafts by hand. Then I type stuff on the computer but I always have to print at some point and edit by hand because I just can't see typos on the screen.
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Postby pengwenn » Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:43 am

I have to edit by hand too. I just have to see the changes I've made at the same time I see what it was to begin with. Sometimes I'll change something later on that makes me want to not make a change earlier. It's so much easier to cross off what I had written then to do back on the screen to find where I made the change I'm looking for. I know you can set up Word to show changes made in a document but that's just too confusing for me.
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Postby AlienEeeter » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:53 pm

I like the smoothness of gel pens when I write, but they run dry so quickly its hadly worht the cost. Earlier this summer I went through a 6-pack of them in a 5 day period. I prefer a black rollerball myself.
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Postby charlesp » Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:01 pm

I'm a computer person and type about 10 times as fast as I write by hand... so I'm using an iBook for most things when I'm writing. IF I use a pen I like to use my Levenger fountain pen (though whenever writing stuff by hand I run the, all-to-common, risk of being unable to read what I wrote).

As for Gel pens... I carry around a little mini gel-pen my boss gave me last christmas and I like the way it writes (though the main reason I carry it is because it's so small and handy).

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"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Postby Alabaster Muse » Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:28 pm

I write nearly everything by hand, kind of a freewriting style, in a composition notebook. Then I take that to the computer, organize and polish.

I only write with a Pilot G-2 07 gel pen in either purple or blue ink. Once in a while I journal with other assorted gel inks.

I also carry a leather travel journal with refillable notebooks everywhere I go. It is my catchall.
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Postby Scarecrow » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:23 am

I talk to myself. :shock:
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Postby xcheck24 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:41 am

oh that's normal. . . right? if it's not, i'm in trouble. :shock:
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Postby CycoMerlin14 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:32 pm

Alabaster Muse wrote:I only write with a Pilot G-2 07 gel pen...


:shock: Ohmigoodness...I heart you. That was my favorite pen...until I was introduced to the Pilot Precise Grip and confessed my undying love for it...
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Postby ghostposts » Sun Oct 09, 2005 5:11 pm

I write in black ink on a spiral, then edit when I transcribe it. Then I put it in PDF and read it again, going over it for typos. I'm mildly dyslexic, and the change into three formats helps me catch all my typos. :P

I also preview each post, and then edit it again, to get them all. If it's a long post, I type it into a wordprocessor with a spellcheck option, then past and copy it.
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Postby Mlou » Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:21 pm

I do it ALL on the computer. If I had to sit and write with a pen, I'd go mad. And I get ideas faster than I can handwrite. I never would have written a complete novel, had I not finally moved into the modern era with a computer. Not that THAT'S done me any good so far...the book, I mean.
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Postby pengwenn » Sun Oct 09, 2005 6:35 pm

For me I tend to writer better (i.e. no internal editor going crazy) when I should be doing something else instead. At work when I write instead of doing my work I tend to get things out faster and not get hung up on parts that I know will need work on them later on. It's almost like my internal editor knows I should be working but decides to shut up and let me get it all out on paper before chiming in. Once I start the rewrite he's all gung ho but it's nice that he at least lets me get the idea out first.
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Postby Anblick » Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:22 pm

I've found that even though I can type faster than write, I write faster than type, simply because I don't go back to correct mistakes. I don't even consider them when I hand-write them, but will 97% of the time go back and correct them when I type them in my computer. So doing the first draft on my computer drives me nuts. Especially as the "instant editing" causes me often to loose 'aha' ideas.
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Postby Scarecrow » Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:34 pm

Yeah, that son-of-a-b[CENSORED]in' thing does the same thing to me! I hate writing longhand, but on occasions I have to. I've attempted it after turning the prompts off in my options menu, but something about how professional, how definate the text looks on the screen... I have to make sure it's perfect. In instances where I've written a good piece in my mind (as in, I have it worked out before I write a word), I can sit at the computer and blast it out. But if I'm just letting it flow out as it comes, I have to use pen and paper--those usually need some fine-tuning--several words of dialogue with myself--in the end anyway.
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Postby Catana » Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:14 pm

I hate having to type from my handwriting, so I have an Alphasmart Neo keyboard that will download text to my computer. The "advantage" of the Neo is that it doesn't use a mouse, so editing is a real pain. Also, the max number of lines you can see is six, and those aren't full length. Kind of the best of both worlds--the ease of a keyboard with very little temptation to edit as I go.
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Postby junkstory » Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:24 pm

Nice to know I'm not the only one who has to handwrite everything first... and I have to use a Uniball Vision pen. :D
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Postby cherbo86 » Mon Oct 10, 2005 4:44 pm

I too hand write the first draft usually but am trying to convert myself over to the computer- I have a few times not saved and lost what i had typed- that you dont have to worry about when handwriting your draft. Also just curious how many people work on only one thing at a time or do you work on more than one item or a different genre. just wondering if i am the only wierdo here.
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Postby charlesp » Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:31 pm

cherbo86 wrote: Also just curious how many people work on only one thing at a time or do you work on more than one item or a different genre. just wondering if i am the only wierdo here.


Aren't these two different questions? I usually keep only one thing active at a time... but I know we've got a few others around here to keep many going. Of course I'm one of the few who READS 3-8 things at a time so... :dunno:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
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Anblick
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Postby Anblick » Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:04 pm

Well, turning off the spell-checking, etc. doesn't work for me because I know I've made a mistake, but when I write it, I know I can correct it when I type it in, so I let it go and make faster progress that way.

As for only one project at a time, one major project at a time, though sometimes I switch which one that it among the several major projects I have to juggle. But I like to occassionally write small snippets here and there for possible future inspirations...
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Postby sourbluerook » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:00 am

I work on different stories at the same time and throw in some poetry for good measure.
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Postby timberline » Tue Oct 11, 2005 11:31 am

I found over the years that I can juggle a number of projects and go back to the ones that interest me at the moment--or are facing deadlines. Two short stories are in rewrite and one just got a heavy rewrite when an editor suggested it, two articles are in editors' hands, and another article on Kieft's War (Nieuw Amsterdam, 1643-44) thrust itself at me with no market in sight. Pity, the historical novel will have to wait!

Definitely, the desktop PC is the medium of choice, though notes get scribbled on scraps of paper and stuffed in my pocket till I get to the desk.
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Postby Catana » Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:23 pm

cherbo86 wrote:... Also just curious how many people work on only one thing at a time or do you work on more than one item or a different genre. just wondering if i am the only wierdo here.


I get bored and frustrated easily, so I'm usually working on several things at once. I have a weblog, am revising some articles that were on the web a few years back, and I'm trying to write a book.

I'm usually reading a couple of books, plus, a huge number of articles every day via rss feeds. Trouble is all that stimulation makes it hard to focus on current projects, so I'm always starting new ones. ](*,)
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Postby tigerlily » Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:28 pm

I read a chapter or three from five different library books (that's an average: naturally, the stack gets smaller as I finish individual books, and sometimes I start out with as many as ten), read from my stack of writing books, looking for inspiration and writing prompts, and then the fun begins. I write short comments about the books as I finish them, do a little bible study and write down questions as they occur to me, type a chapter of Snails Are Evil (I'm beginning to regret writing the whole blamed thing longhand), look through my list of contests and see if I've got anything on hand that would be good to send in, read from a cookbook, looking for good recipes to try (I love food; maybe someday I'll post my ode to omelets), do a little sketching or interpreting in my dream journal (one month of recording dreams, one month of interpreting), look through my thesaurus and add to my evergrowing list of favorite words, write some poetry, look at my list of ideas and come up with yet another excuse for not writing a short story), stare sadly at my short story folder (why is it so thin?), make a list of names I think are cool to use for characters at a future date...Think about you guys and wonder if I'm missing out on a neat assignment, wonder if I'll ever be WTOM, :cry: prepare a contest entry and sit, admiring the neat inky depressions my typewriter makes in the back of a postcard...Wish I could do this all day, think how nice it would be to have some hot chocolate if I wasn't too lazy to make it...Finally knock off for the day, spend the next hour worrying about carpal tunnel and my increasing nearsightedness, start to feel better, and flop on my bed to play Tetris. :yimcrazy:
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Postby WryterForLyfe » Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:08 pm

I almost always have to handwrite everything, and then i have different colors sometimes that I write with to put myself in a certain mood. Or sometimes if i know i'm doing alot of dialogue i'll assign diffferent colors to each character. Then it is kind of depressing when three pages in my composition notebook only adds up to one. I also do alot of writing on my Alpha Smart. For some reason i cannot be creative sitting infront of the PC.
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Postby sarjane » Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:12 pm

I seem to compose most of my poetry on the road. The monotony and motion of the drive, not to mention the views of the distant purple mountains, cotton fields, and sunsets, seem to inspire words. The only problem is that I don't always carry my mini tape recorder with me -- I end up resting my journal on the steering wheel and writing blindly (my eyes are on the road, you know!).

A couple of weeks ago, I only had my digital camera with me, so I turned on the video feature, aimed it at the steering wheel, and spoke the phrases that came to my head. Later, I imported the video clips and thanked God that the videos had sound. I was able to write everything in my journal and create the poem "Something Beautiful." Yea!
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Postby Catana » Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:16 pm

Another Alphasmart user! I often write during TV ads and slow plots. I keep my Neo within reach so I don't have to jump up and go to the computer. I think that three pages of handwriting adding up to only one typed is one of the things that made the investment in the Alphasmart look good. And it's a heck of a lot easier to download text to the computer than try to transcribe my scribbling.

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