Thursday, January 08, 2009

Long Hand

I have the germ of my next "novel" (I still feel like a pretentious douche-bag saying or writing I'm some sort of "novelist"). Unlike the still-to-be-edited THE MOSQUITO VINE, this next one is based on a short story I TIRED to write...but stopped because it felt like it wouldn't work as a short story.

I sat on the john last night and read over these 13 pages (I know, too much info--right?) of A GIRL NAMED SQUIB, and found I liked about a tenth of it. The general concept behind it. The execution was all wrong, but the intent was right. So I'm going to re-vamp that and have a go at it.

Except, my computer got sick and I began to ponder writing long hand. Now, my computer is fine again, but the idea lingers. In junior college, I used to write everything out long hand, then sit down and transcribe it onto the computer. The process was good because I almost never typed up what I had exactly as it was written. I made it better. This forced editing always made things better.

Plus, I notice that when I write on a computer, it comes out different. I use a whole different set of words. My vocabulary is better, frankly, because I have spell-check. My sentences are more complex. But it's also a bit more hollow. A bit more mechanical.

When I write free hand, my mind can't go as fast--everything gets slowed down and I think before I write and everything comes out more clearly. More to the point. Also, I don't prattle on needlessly...when your hand is aching, one tends to write more succinctly. So I'm going back to that, to my "roots" as it were. I want to work on this before I start editing next month on the first book. I want a second book in the works so I won't hold back on the editing. If it's gotta go, I want to be able to prune it off--without worry.

Anyway, I'm doing it. I'm starting this weekend. I've had a month off, it's time to go back to work. It's time to dream again.


Terri said...

It's interesting to read this...I notice that even in my journal, when I WANT to be expansive, in long-hand I tend to be brief. Even on my blog, it's a hard habit to break.

Jason said...

Oh man, do my hands hurt. Wow.

I've not written so much in over a year. Outside of school, I really had no reason to write for more than five or ten minutes at a time.

Today I wrote for three hours (with about two a twenty-minute breaks).

Plus, I only got out about 11 pages (with many crumpled ones). This is going to be a challenge.