Tuesday, 13 March 2012
How do you write?
This is how Anne Tyler writes her novels:
longhand over and over again
types into a computer
writes again in longhand
reads into a tape recorder
retypes into a computer
I wonder how long it took Anne Tyler to come up with that method of writing a novel. Although it must take ages, I can understand why she reads the manuscript into a tape recorder. It's amazing what can be picked up when writing is read aloud. I've found this a benefit of reading out work in writing classes to be critiqued.
This is how I go about writing a novel:
I write the first draft of each scene by hand. Then I type it into a computer, rewriting as I go and editing by printing, marking it up and retyping (a few times). When I'm as happy with that scene as I can be at that stage, I move onto the next scene and go back to writing by hand. Somehow writing the first draft in this way means I can plan the scene in my head more easily. I like writing in cafés as it's good to get out of the house for some of the writing process. Sometimes I end up writing more than I would at home because there aren't any distractions. I use exercise books as they're light and can be squeezed into any handbag. I also like disposable fountain pens and have several in different colours, pink being my favourite. Of course after all that there's loads of redrafting and editing to do.
I'd be interested to know if you write by hand at any stage in the novel-writing process or if you have any other comments.