The Question of the Week is posted every Sunday and will consist of a question followed by my answer and explanation to the same. Some questions will only require a simple answer that could potentially be followed by an explanation. Many questions will be writer oriented, but not all. Everyone is encouraged to answer in the comments and discussions/follow up questions are more than welcome!
Do you hand write your stories?
Before Northern Lights I hand wrote my original novel The Serpent’s Tale prior to using Word. I’m not sure what prompted me to forgo that initial step, because I feel I was a less neurotic and less stressed about it because I had a tangible backup. I have lost writing before, and few things feel more soul crushing. I wrote a short story/novella a decade entitle Heart of Fire (I apparently like things that come from the “heart“), and while it suffered from the same issues anything written a decade prior would, I still wish I had a copy somewhere. There were good ideas in that work that could’ve been salvaged. Even with The Serpent’s Tale I lost some work on Word. Thankfully, I had the hand written backup, but that was more of the skeleton of what was loss; the flesh had to be reformed. Currently, I email myself after every writing session so I have a morass of writing in my one Gmail folder. It gives me peace of mind.
I actually prefer the hand writing method. Many authors swear by it, and it honestly doesn’t add much time to a work. It took me two years to write/edit The Serpent’s Tale, and Northern Lights was the same. I told myself after the latter was complete that I’d go back to the hand written method, and the only reason I didn’t with The Broken Rose is because I believed it would be a short story. With my next story, which I’m projecting to be novella length (meaning it’ll be a three book series *groan*) I am most definitely going back to my old method. Seeing a blank journal page is far less anxiety inducing that staring at the white of Word. While I do always have notes and take extensive ones, I’d rather have a complete skeleton in place rather than cobbling together that, flesh, and nerves with a dimly lit instruction manual.
Which method do you prefer? Have you only used one or both? What merits/deficiencies have you found in both?
I look forward to your answers in the comments!