|Too many notebooks. Maybe|
After saying very carefully that all writers evolve their own idiosyncratic method I admit that I write my first draft by hand. These days this is met by a degree of disbelief and a kind of pity that one feels for a bag lady in the road.
'I would have thought computers would have been a Godsend for you! Make things easier.' Then (add in kind tone of voice) 'They're very easy to use you know,'
Well, I do know,. I love my computer(s).They are brilliant for instant researching, for blogging and Facebooking. I was a pioneer in that field. I remember the joy of my first wordprocesser, an Amstrad 9512 - such a brilliant improvement from my electric typewriter and my bottles of SnoPake. I shudder at the thought of the state of my original manuscripts - which were accepted by publishers . Never mind. Daphne du Maurier sent her publishers scribbled hand scripted drafts.
|I like to write in ink pen|
I have experimented with drafting straight onto the screen and have found it very limiting, Staring at a blank screen hinders the creativity, the imagination. As the pages build up on the screen they are too finished too complete, too self referring, insufficiently open. They have too much authority and too little vulnerability.
|Maps are the current obsession...|
I normally (but see below) write in bound hardback A4 notebooks. (Cheap from Rymans...) I only write on the right hand side of the page leaving the left hand space for insertions, scribbled self-instructions and amendments.
I often customise the cover with drawings. paintings and collages to make them particular to these stories. And after so many novels the notebooks give a shape to this and I know that the currency is this: three fully drafted notebooks equal one full length novel of about a hundred thousand words. Give or take.
But with this new novel when I embark on the first lot of transcription, (About 20 thousand words in) I find that I have scenes and scraps, brainstorms and locations in five different notebooks. I can blame that on my habit of writing on trains, in cafes, pubs and parks on whatever is to hand. So the transcribing of this first part of the novel has been something of a challenge as I spent time hunting down scenes out of sequence.
So I have given myself a good talking to and created a new A5 (ie handbag friendly) notebooks as a prototype into which ALL the new drafting for this new novel must go. Here it is. I hope it works.
Just a thought. Writing whole books is hard work. But unless you make the process creative, satisfying and fun it becomes just another job instead of just more joy.