Friday, September 16, 2005

Paper or Plastic?

Once, a long time ago, I wrote all my stories long hand. Had no choice, it was either that or tie someone up so they could listen to them.

Then, I bought a computer. (This would be the crappy little PC that is still alive in parts at my sister's house...having spread it's evil to my mother's house first. Only the monitor lives, which really does make me think the Midevals were onto something about drawing and quartering their enemies.) At work, I still wrote long hand, then came home and typed things in with mild editing--you know, cause I didn't need more than that. (snort). I really thought that was the way I had to write. It was my process...even if I had horrific tendonitis and even worse handwriting, meaning some days even I couldn't read what I wrote.

We got a newer computer and I kept up my habit. Then, since I was a Stay At Home Mom, I realized I was doubling my time and started typing in directly. This revolutionized my life, even if it was a hard transition. But, since I did have a kid, I still printed out to do my editing. It was a great help, actually, to see it on paper. Things you didn't see on the screen were suddenly so glaringly clear on the page. (Especially those mysterious indent tabs you thought you deleted out.) I could take the whole manuscript with me places and edit in the car, on the couch, at the dinner table. (It's not rude, conversation while we eat becomes dangerous at our house. Hubby bites his tongue or his lip and I gesture broadly...when you have a steak knife, that's just asking for trouble.)

Then we got the laptop. I love my lappy. It fits in my bag and goes everywhere. It's not as ugly as a battered notebook and it's silent typing. Why, I can even bring it to bed while hubby is sleeping and write til I pass out!

But what about editing?

Are print outs still necessary? Am I clinging to the old ways the same way I did with writing longhand? Are the benefits of printing out to edit made obsolete by the lightweight laptop that can be just as versatile as paper,if not more? Is the value of seeing your story on the page worth the cost of ink?

What do you think? How do y'all edit? Do you use paper? Or Plastic encased technology?

Smooches,
Dee

11 comments:

Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wayne said...

Dee

I'm a lot like you when it comes to the process of writing. I type all of the story directly into the computer (I use a program called Write Way Pro), and type quickly without stopping to correct mistakes etc.

At the end of each day, after spell and grammar checking, I print out the day's work. I read it this time making any additional correction and moodification which I then type into the computer.

Then on to the next chapter.

wj

Dee said...

Hey Wayne! Sweet of you to stop by!

I sometimes feel that I just see it more subjectively on paper...but I do wonder if I'm just juking myself out of a few bucks when I have the laptop.

Then again, it's easier to make eye contact with people talking to me if I don't have a laptop screen in the way.

Decisions, decisions, lol. Where's a magic 8 ball when you need one? LOL!

Dee

MaryF said...

We have the same process, the longhand, then the typing, and now the typing then the printing. I think part of why I like to print it out is to see it all there, physically, ya know? But it does look different.

Wayne said...

Dee

I'm always amazed at the number of mistakes I pick up after I've read it on the computer and moved it to a print copy.

wj

Lis said...

I definitely write pretty close to the same way you do. And I think printing it out helps with the edits, its so easy to gloss over things on the computer screen that suddenly jump out at you from a piece of paper.

Bronwyn Jameson said...

Hi Dee!

I don't have to print out anymore but sometimes it's more convenient -- you can take the pages places you wouldn't use the laptop -- and, yeah, I do pick up things in the printed copy that I missed on screen. But it's usually the final edit. Most of it's done on the 'puter.

Amy said...

I still find lots of errors on paper that I miss on the screen. Not sure why that is.

jack said...

I write on whatever's handy then type it in.

Usually I write it directly on computer (love my laptop too!) but I never print anything until I need it in printed form. Waste of paper, waste of in, waste of time.

Save a tree; proofread on your screen!

Dee said...

WOW, people are really pretty decisive on this topic. I do also reuse my print outs by letting my son color them when I'm done.

My other thing is print outs in columns on the pages. Size 8 font and columns means 20 pages reduced to 4. :) A whole 240 page ms ends up about 40 pgs. :)

Which reminds me, I'm outta ink! (Sorry Jack!)
Smooches,
Dee

MaryF said...

I print out on the backs of old contest entries, etc. I recycle paper everywhere!