Handwriting drafts

Last year, I was having some trouble getting started on a certain project. I’d written the first five or so chapters three times and completely scrapped them every time. It became so frustrating that I couldn’t even stand to open up that folder on my computer.

So I grabbed a notebook, headed outside, and hand-wrote the beginning of a novel for the first time in years. Moving away from my computer gave me enough breathing room that I could write without the weight of my previous failed starts, and I managed to write a remarkable amount.

The other day, I pulled out that notebook for the first time since the move and started reading through what I’d written. And it was so fun! Writing by hand slowed me down enough that I chose my words more carefully and put myself deeper into the character. It’s still a first draft in need of revision, but, in this case, leaving the computer behind and picking up a pen made a huge difference in the quality of my writing.

So when Kaleiyah Prose tagged me for the handwriting challenge last week, I thought I’d be That Blogger who makes up her own rules for a challenge. 🙂 Instead of handwriting answers to questions, I’m going to share a handwritten snippet from that draft, an exchange between the two main characters that made me smile when I read over it.

Do you handwrite drafts or outlines? Post a picture and link me to it in the comments! I love to see ink-and-paper works in progress!


6 thoughts on “Handwriting drafts

  1. Nathan Bates

    I also like to handwrite ideas but often for the practical reason that it is easier to write with paper and pen than with a computer on the bus. I have found as well that writing by hand slows you down and forces you to think more about what you are writing. It also feels more intimate somehow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree–writing by hand gives you more of a physical connection to ideas. I normally type because it’s faster and I get frustrated at how slowly I write by hand, but I think you’re right that it makes you think more and adds quality.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to write my outlines by hand–‘outline’ being a loose term for freewriting how the novel should progress. You’re absolutely right, though. I think being forced to slow down, as well as the physical aspect of it, helps boost the creative juices. And every so often I’ll write bits and pieces of scenes that may or may never find their way into a book. And being able to do it outside (weather and bugs permitting 😉 ) just adds to the creative energies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I find I do a lot more writing of little snippets when I’m writing by hand, and even if they don’t find a place in the story, they’re always a big help in developing characters or plot.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Skye Hegyes

    I tend to write first drafts by hand and type the second. Heck, I’ve even begun using Dragon Naturally Speaking for the second draft.


  4. Kaleiyah Prose

    In middle school and high school, I used to write out drafts by hand because I couldn’t do anything in else in homeroom. Now that I have a laptop and Scrivener, I’m barely away from my computer when writing. I should go back to handwriting at some point just to get a feel for it and help me capture snippets.

    Thanks for sharing the snippet of your characters’ convo 😀 !


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