Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Trade Tricks

Two Things I Do 

1. Grey My Word Docs. 

As a writer, you are putting your eyes under strain. Yes you, I’m talking to you. Why do you write like that? On a white background? Is it because you have twenty-twenty vision and you want to show off about how great your eyes are? Are you trying to make fun of folk like me who are practically blind?

Well, you go ahead and carry on. I’ll see you in Specsavers soon enough.

Oooooooor…you could grey that page of yours. Go on. Open a word doc, go to page layout, look for page colour and change the standard white background to a grey that suits you. I like the second to last on the grey columns, but to be honest, any of the darker colours will do as long as you don’t need to change the writing to white. I mean, why suffer? Do you want to do your eyes in? Isn’t writing hard enough? 

2. Write By Hand Again

Handwriting by Noah

The second thing I wanted to share, was do it "old skool". 

The delete button on your keyboard is the real antagonist to your first draft. I have ten first drafts (smirk) because of it, and it’s all that back buttons fault for making me feel like I can write perfectly, ‘cos you know, if I don’t like something, I can just delete and go again. But that can sometimes lead to many drafts. Neither draft will be pointless, but I mean, out of all my ten drafts, none have an ending. And that, my friends, is a sickness. 

A fellow writer and author by the name of Noah Fregger posted a pic of his hand written work. I believe he writes his full first draft then goes back and types it all up. Other than his bizarre ability to not make any mistakes (weirdo) and to write in all capitals bar his A’s (double weirrrrrdo!), I actually thought: “man, I should seriously go back to doing that.” 

For a while, it brought me back to stationary purgatory. I'd forgotten the stress of standing around for hours trying to find that PERFECT pen (Bic of course, and blue) and then that PERFECT notepad. In the end, I reminded myself that this book will probably contain the WORST writing I will ever commit to paper ant that actually, a notepad for £1.59 will do.

Now, I know the feeling of writing up a whole story then having to type it up so I wasn’t going to do that. Instead, I wrote a chapter each time, then typed it up. And when I say chapter, I’m using that term loosely. I mean, it’s the bare bones of a chapter. No long descriptions of areas or rooms. No real specifics; if my characters enter a forest then that’s all I’m writing. Within about two hours, a chapter is finished. Then in two more, I’ve typed it up on my comp and added what that forest looked like.

Having used this method twice now, I feel like I’ve learnt a magic trick. Like… I honestly think I can complete this story by November using this method. And you know what else is awesome??? Pen and paper won’t crash, run out of battery or distract me with the internet. Nope. Not even with dial up. It’s Google, YouTube and social network free and I can take it anywhere.

It’s like… It’s like I’ve rediscovered the meaning behind my own blog name. Wow…

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