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Thread: What do you write with?

  1. #26
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    I do both pen/paper and laptop. My laptop is getting up there in years so it can be annoying to lug it around. I also feel like handwriting things slows down my thoughts, and then I'm able to add in details when I transpose it into a word document.

  2. #27
    practical experience, FTW Jan74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    I keep about 3/4 journals with things I jot down in, sometimes I'll hand write an entire chapter or paragraph for later use and I keep lists of names, quotes, titles, characters etc in a spiral book. The writing itself is in word on my computer because then I can lock it. I'm extremely private about my writing while I'm writing.

    "You fail only if you stop writing" ~Ray Bradbury~
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" ~Stephen King~
    WIP Dark Romance
    "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." ~Margaret Atwood~
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  3. #28
    practical experience, FTW cmi0616's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    In the aeroplane over the sea
    I write on a Macbook using MS Word. I know people IRL who swear by the benefits of pencil and paper, but I've tried both and don't notice much of a difference either way, except that I tend to make a lot more syntactical and spelling mistakes when I type.
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  4. #29
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by T.D. Dracken View Post
    Because of these reasons I settled on pencil and paper because I'm somewhat committed to what I write but if I make a mistake too badly I can have the satisfaction of erasing entire paragraphs and writing over the resulting smudges.
    I write in pencil, but I rarely erase things. Sometimes I cross something out. If I make several attempts at something and things get hard to follow, then I'll erase the stuff I crossed out. That helps me find the thread later when I go back - my handwriting is really terrible and mostly I can't actually really read it that well, but the first version is mostly to figure out what things are. Once I've finished the story I review it, and the I mostly just write it again when I get to typing it into the computer. Mostly it's the same story, but sometimes I'll maybe flesh some part out more or trim some part down...
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  5. #30
    figuring it all out _lvbl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Laptop--has to be laptop. Otherwise sometimes I will jot down notes on the Notes app (appropriately named!) on my iPhone

  6. #31
    figuring it all out AnthonyDavid11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    I used to write with pen and legal pads. I can still do that now, but I generally stick to my laptop. I've gotten so used to typing that my hand can't keep up with my brain. I'm churning out like 100 words a minute in my head but I can't write that fast. I'm not the best typist either but I'm much faster on the keyboard of course. So I go with the laptop.

  7. #32
    I like full stops. nrwriter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    I use PyRoom. It's just a background with no interface, no spell check, nothing.

  8. #33
    practical experience, FTW Stephen Palmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Shrewsbury, UK
    Word on a Mac.
    It couldn't possibly be any other way...

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by T.D. Dracken View Post
    I think this is the proper section for this question as it is serious and involves the methods used by fellow writers. If I'm mistaken, please move the topic accordingly.

    So the question, what does everyone use to write with and why?

    I've written things directly on computer before but for some reason it feels too temporary and too easy to take back what I've written. At the same time using pen feels too permanent and I worry over if my train of thought is going anywhere.

    Because of these reasons I settled on pencil and paper because I'm somewhat committed to what I write but if I make a mistake too badly I can have the satisfaction of erasing entire paragraphs and writing over the resulting smudges.

    Hiw about everyone else?
    What you've described reminds me of how strange it was to switch from typewriter to computer way back when.

    I usually write on a laptop but when I do write by hand, I've noticed that my writing tends to have an automatic different tone, more personal or something.

  10. #35
    practical experience, FTW MaeZe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Ralph's side of the island.
    If I couldn't write using a word processor, I couldn't write. My brain doesn't write linearly.

    Word and Scrivener currently, on a Macbook, in my favorite back yard space.
    Last edited by MaeZe; 07-07-2017 at 08:21 PM.

  11. #36
    figuring it all out Peggles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    North Carolina
    I use Scrivener on my iPad. I have a small keyboard folio that folds up for portability while giving me the keyboard I need and propping up my screen. It lets me write everywhere, and I find that the iPad keeps me from getting lost on the internet instead of writing. Sometimes Scrivener for iPad can be hard on the formatting side, though, so I use my laptop for extensive revisions, moving things, etc. My laptop is getting old and slow, though, so I try to avoid using it when possible.

    I use my phone and Google Keep if I have ideas in the middle of the night or when I don't have writing tools with me, or Google Docs if I have to write actual text.

  12. #37
    practical experience, FTW Cekrit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    I conjure familiar spirits through a several hour long ritual to imprint the paper with their essence in order to portray the truest story that lies within my soul.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, Scrivener helps, and lots of mini pocket sized notebooks.
    Sera needs you! [YA dystopian fantasy]

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  13. #38
    Tastes Like Chicken GoSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Martinsburg, WV USA
    I use WriteWay Pro on a desktop and laptop computer. I also scribble down ideas on a small spiral notebook and a notepad program on my android phone.

  14. #39
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    MS Word on an elderly desktop PC with a very nice keyboard and monitor, which are the only bits of it I care about. I like nice pens but writing by hand sets off my arthritis after fifteen minutes or so.
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    Priest of Bones coming October 2018 from Ace/Roc & Jo Fletcher Books

  15. #40
    practical experience, FTW LeftyLucy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by lianna williamson View Post
    I do all of my actual drafting in Scrivener on my laptop, but when I get stuck I pull out a notebook and work out the solution on paper.
    This is me, exactly.

    In addition to solving tricky plot holes, I'll also work out things like genealogies with pencil and paper. I really like the tidiness of graph paper and even when I'm just making notes or working on a solution longhand, I'll do it on graph paper.

  16. #41
    Grand Duchess Ambrosia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    In the Castle, of course.
    I do the creative writing with a pen and paper (purple or black ink; paper pad with a design of clouds on a blue background), then enter what I have written into an .rtf in Open Office. Once on the computer, I make any deletions/additions/expansions to what I have just written. Once I am done with that section, I go back to pen and paper for the next creative bit. Rinse/repeat. When I need to edit the manuscript, I print it out and edit the hard copy, then transfer those edits to the computer file.

    The design on the paper pads I am using is no longer made. When I discovered the company had discontinued it, I emailed the company and ordered the stock they had left. I am envisioning a creative crisis when I run out of this paper.
    "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."

    "You don't need thick skin, you just need perseverance." leifwright


  17. #42
    practical experience, FTW Laurasaurus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Oh no! My paper and pens have to be just right too. I'm very fussy.
    Although, when I don't have my notebook with me, apparently I'm just fine scribbling on the back of a receipt with a random biro.
    Contemporary novel Northwest of Normal out now

  18. #43
    figuring it all out Gidget1225's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Upstate New York

    Here's gratitude for the laptop!

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D. Dracken View Post
    ...on computer before but for some reason it feels too temporary and too easy to take back what I've written. At the same time using pen feels too permanent and I worry over if my train of thought is going anywhere.
    I keep a notebook for anything that I need to view while I'm writing (I can't stand trying to work with the screen split. I have to do that at my paying job.) The entries in my notebook are things such as my description of characters and the tracking of time.

    My actual writing is on a laptop (though I have been known to jot down an idea on paper when away from electronics). On my computer, I have a special document where I bury all my "little darlings" in the event that I want to resurrect one at any time. Although I've never done so, it makes killing those precious babies MUCH easier. I also like having the ability to cut and paste entire scenes into the sequel manuscript if needed. I've often wondered to myself, "How did anyone ever get anything finished on a manual typewriter?"

    Besides, I'm a secretary by day. I type much faster than I could pen anything.

  19. #44
    Write in pen - in cursive - on various notebooks, then type up that on the lappy. The typing up what I've already written longhand counts as my first editing pass. Also, if I don't have my laptop or notebooks with me for some reason, I write in emails and send them to myself, to paste into a Word Doc later.
    BETA-ING: Cave Draconem (YA urban fantasy), 57k words
    EDITING: What The Rain Brought In (horror), 10,000 words
    WIP: Devil's Bridge (space opera), 28k


  20. #45
    Turning the monsters loose borogove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I primarily use a laptop+Scrivener and sit on the couch or bed for both outlining and drafting, but sometimes I hook it up to a monitor+keyboard+mouse setup and sit at a desk if I'm finding it hard to get into the zone. It makes me feel more businesslike. If ideas or questions pop into my head during the work day, I'll scribble them down with paper+pen. I don't write on my commute too worried about a tablet getting stolen and I'm too slow with pen+paper but I just bought an AlphaSmart and am excited to see if that will work for me.
    "Muriel Spark is said to have felt that she was taking dictation from God every morning sitting there, one supposes, plugged into a Dictaphone, typing away, humming. But this is a very hostile and aggressive position. One might hope for bad things to rain down on a person like this." Anne Lamott

  21. #46
    Benefactor Member WeaselFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Floral City, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by T.D. Dracken View Post
    So the question, what does everyone use to write with and why?
    I write with what is appropriate to my needs, abilities and tasks. Why does that impact your decision in any way, or are you just wasting time instead of writing?

    Computer, Microsoft Word. Since the early 1990's, when Word Perfect got sold to Corel and mucked up. I go back far enough to have written with a typewriter.


  22. #47
    Aerospace engineer turned writer Laer Carroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Los Angeles
    Word, desk side computer.

    I've customized Word so I can highlight a word or phrase, click on it, and have my web browser pop up a window showing a thesaurus or Google entry for it. It takes about two seconds to scan the synonyms and pick one, or a couple of minutes the Google entry. I write fast and good and the jumps out of and back into the story I'm creating are easy and natural. But it took years of practice to get this way.

  23. #48
    Power to the pen! Taylor Harbin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Most of the time I use a manual typewriter, but if that's not possible (like when I'm traveling) I use a pen and spiral notebook.
    Check out my published work here!

    Visit my blog, updated regularly!

    Got an old typewriter you want gone? PM me!

  24. #49
    Moar Whine Little Anonymous Me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The Sixth Circle of Hell
    Clay tablet with a reed I cut from the banks of the Nile myself.

    And when my hand cramps, I bust out the modern tech with spell check.
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  25. #50
    practical experience, FTW HarvesterOfSorrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Canada, eh?
    I write on a laptop, and use Microsoft Word. When I was working, I would use the laptop before I went to work, then I would write longhand on my breaks. When I got home at night, I transcribed what I'd handwritten into the computer, and then continue on into the computer. I couldn't write longhand for an entire book, I don't think. Too often I decide to add a paragraph in between two existing ones, or some other addition that pushes text down, or brings it back up, or alters it in some other fashion. Also, I often get halfway through a sentence, then think of a better, more proper way to begin it. So all I have to do is hit BACKSPACE and write whatever it is I intend.

    I'm thankful for computers/laptops/word processors because they've made the physical part of the process so much easier. But I think they also kind of spoon-fed us in some way. I remember Stephen King telling the story of when he was writing the first draft of Dreamcatcher. This was right after his accident and it hurt too much to sit at his desk. So he wrote the first draft of that book with a pen in a huge journal. All 800+pages of it. He said it changed the way he thought of the language for the very reason I just mentioned: he had to really think about what he was going to say before writing it down, because it wasn't just as simple as pushing a button a couple of times, or running things through a machine.

    With that said: I continue to be spoiled with computers and if I spot something I don't like, I can highlight, delete, re-format, re-tool, re-whatever, and it makes the process a little easier---which is great, because it's enough of a headache already. I have nothing but the utmost respect for writers of the past who worked with pen/pencil and paper and typewriters. Because their progress was not a bunch of ones and zeros on a page, it challenged the way they looked at their prose. I'm hoping to get my hands on a typewriter just so I can feel what it's like to utilize the language in some sort of degree like they did in the past.
    "He's gone! He's gone from here! The evil is gone!"

    Sam Loomis
    John Carpenter's Halloween.

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