Writing by Hand, the New-Fangled Way

Did you know I get my best writing done by hand? Not only that, but I can usually tell, reading my finished books, which chapters started their lives handwritten and which started their lives typewritten. The handwritten chapters just ring so much truer to the experience I was trying to craft for you.

For me, the details of a scene–from the fluttering of a leaf to a plot-shifting new revelation–emerge while I’m writing. The best way to let that happen is to physically slow the process down by hand-crafting every word.

Furthermore, I might have to re-write a typewritten chapter up to twenty times before I am happy with it. But a handwritten chapter? I might need only two to five drafts. One chapter in Mailboat IV (Chapter 27) made it into the final book in just one draft.

Ironically, slower is faster.

But handwriting does come with a few unique problems. Transcription, for one. I’m a pretty fast and accurate typist, but I still spent a total of 30 hours typing the various drafts that became Mailboat IV (and parts of Mailboat V). That’s time I could have been writing instead.

There is also that uncomfortable span of time, pre-transcription, when my most recent chapter exists solely on a fragile piece of paper. Every author knows that you should keep multiple backups of everything you write. But sometimes days would go by before I had time to transcribe what I wrote.

So I decided to pick up a new gadget: a little tablet that can both convert my handwriting into text and upload my new-written chapters to the cloud. The tablet I chose is called the reMarkable 2.

I’ve only had it for a few days, but I am completely in love with it! Its handwriting-to-text conversion is highly accurate. And I no longer have to worry about my hard-won words being lost or destroyed. Now I can focus more on the important part: Writing more books!

I’m loving every minute I spend on this tablet. In fact, I was struggling to focus while writing this article, so I wrote the first draft on my reMarkable, LOL.

 

So, the question I know you’re all asking: When will Mailboat V be out?

It should be here next summer! You can already pre-order your copy here. And watch my newsletter for updates!


Parts or all of these books were written by hand. Start reading now!

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