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Pen vs. Keys

Have you ever thought about the way you write?

I can imagine you now, shaking your head in disbelief and pity, threatening to take my lightsaber away for good and confine me to Dagobah forever.  But hear me out.  My question doesn’t concern so much your plot, or characters, word choice, etc., but rather, the actual means by which you produce a story.  That is, do you actually write?  Do you type?  Or something in-between?

I tend to do both, but admit that typing often wins out for convenience as well as speed.  I used to write everything out when I was a kid, filling notebook after notebook full of fantastic drawings, maps, timelines, the works.  Granted, most of it was blatant copying (or probably pretty close to what is called fanfiction now) and not very good, but I keep those notebooks as a symbol and reminder of how far I’ve come.

Can we do the same with the keyboard and computer screen?

I don’t know.  I don’t have any hard or fast answers.  These days I find that my drafts go on the screen first, but that back stories and extraneous information–what I’d been filling up those notebooks with in the first place–still stay solidly in my journals.  I can’t let go of that pen and paper.  Even when the dwarves gather ’round to revise, we all pull out our paper copies and proudly flash Sith red pens of doom.

I think our writing has and will continue to be changed by our different methods.  Stories used to be only oral, after all.  I’m pretty much okay with whatever method, as long as the bad gets wrung out of the system.  For now, I’ll stick with typing on the big things, but whip out the pen for refining.  But I’m glad to know that I do have a choice in the process if I ever need to shake things up.

What do you think?  Does the way you write affect your story?

May the Force be with you,


Leave a comment


  1. I like to make notes and do revisions with a pen, but the only way is keyboard for the actual writing. I do the first edits on screen and then print to go through with a red pen. But I wouldn’t get through without the note book making some doodles and random ramblings.

  2. What a wonderful post today. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing.

    Join Us Today!

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  3. I agree that technology has made wiring easier for me. but I still hand write notes when developing characters and mannerisms, and descriptions of every sort. Love the Sith red pen of doom.

  4. susanff

     /  January 23, 2012

    As far as I’m concerned, Sith-red should be a crayon color. 🙂

    And it seems that there’s something in us that can’t let go of the pen, even if just for revisions and doodles. Something more personal perhaps?


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