Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Taming the Bear

When I stepped out on my porch yesterday morning a light rain was falling but the thunder was rolling off in the distance and lightning was flashing on the predawn horizon. According to the forecast the day before we were in for it and we were. I knew this day before yesterday because I went out in the front yard and snipped off the Wisteria vines and crawlers-- everytime I do this it rains the next day.

I like rainy days because I can enjoy my favorite method of writing which is putting pen to paper. I always keep my computer off on stormy days, not because storms bother me but because I can't afford to replace my computer. When I was a columnist all my first drafts were done pen to paper then the second draft was typed and sent off to my editor and my editor rarely used the red pencil on the column. My novels are a different matter. First drafts are done pen to paper and enjoyed, then second and thirds and fourth and fifth and...well, you know the score...are like wrestling a bear. Revising, adding, cutting, and all the other editorial work I find irksome I also find necessary to tame the bear.

When I bought a computer (not that long ago) I found 'word' a handy tool but I wish it was smarter. Editing with 'word' sometimes can be a chore in itself-- kind of like taming the bear without sharpening his claws. I suppose (and have been advised by other wrestlers) that 'book' is much better but, as old as I am, I don't want to be induced to becoming a lazy writer. And frustration is just a norm when writing mystery fiction so I'll just plod on along and wear the 'ignore' tab out in 'word'.


Blogger Matt said...

I'm of the new generation of computer-chained writers. Not that I can pretend to being a writer by trade, but I do dabble. Pen to paper seems so slow, so cumbersome, and the quick motion of my fingers across the keyboard much more in time with my thoughts, closer to dictation. Maybe these typed words lose some of their heaviness though, their deliberative feel, springing so lightly and unabashedly from the mind and onto a readable page. I wonder if writing will one day be a lost art, as everything becomes electronic and computers grow cheaper, as the artfulness of handwriting already seems to have.

9:52 AM  
Blogger porchwise said...

There's no doubt in my mind that writing (probably sooner than later)will be a lost art as voice technology is progressing fast as a flea up a dogs log. It's hard for me to imagine 'talking' a book but I reckon that's how it will be.

12:40 PM  
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