Paper is wonderful! Recently, it has been replaced by the computer, which makes a lot of things easier and convenient, but it is not quite, quite the same.
For the last several days, off and on, I have been working on a story I started last January, using Scrivener as the editor. My Chrome book is also seeing use. And finally, paper and pen when I just don’t want to look at another monitor, or just want to go outdoors and enjoy myself.
While I am not going to go into what I am writing, I do want to explore the process of writing. As the title of this entry suggests, words are very important. One of the things I find so irritating in an author is a failure to provide a variety of terms. For instance, I recall a very popular recent author whose use of the same word within a few sentences has driven me to distraction! What is wrong with finding a synonym? In prose, variety is important, but in poetry, the repetition of sound creates a very different pattern, and so the usage of a word numerous times may be very appropriate and artistic.
This is where paper and pen can come to the aid of the computer-produced manuscript. I like to take what I have written and give it double- or triple-spacing. Then, stapled together, I take it someplace outside or at a coffee bar and sit with a pen to edit. I circle, I cross out, I re-write. In short, I edit with a different perspective because I am seeing the writing on paper.
While I love the convenience of computers and such, I also love the feel of a good pen on a piece of paper. The experience is physical and sensual and intellectual all at once. And it is a very real experience – just like we are trying to create for our readers.
2 comments on “Words, Words, Words”
Putting pen to paper is a much more intimate manner of “writing.” I do the same as you describe. I often find myself at the point that the keyboard and monitor annoy me, bother me, and I feel the need to leave them for a while. I use a fountain pen when I write; for some reason it seems more appropriate and comfortable. Great post!
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Thanks, Will! I have a penchant, so to speak, for fountain pens myself, and prefer them to ballpoints. Paper is so much nicer than a computer, convenient and easy to take along. Visually, too, it’s so different. On an aside, I’ve pulled out my ca. 1840 lap desk my dip pens, too, just for the pleasure of writing with such. However, they are not the most portable of objects and do not work quite as well as a fountain pen. Thanks for coming by.
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