Christian Writing First draft on paper or computer? Which do you prefer?

Oct 2, 2022
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I've recently been experimenting with how my writing goes when I type out a first draft on my computer as opposed to writing it out on paper, editing it, and then copying it on my computer. For me personally, I've found that writing the story out on paper first helps me plan a lot better. I feel much more focused on the story that way and can catch small details I might otherwise miss. I think this is due to the fact that I am a fast typer. Sometimes, it's good to slow down and approach your manuscript painstakingly slow, in my humble opinion.

What do you guys think? Which do you prefer?
 
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Aug 10, 2013
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I rarely use pen/pencil and paper unless I'm away from the computer and have time to write. It's much easier to move sentences around or modify them on the computer.
 

lynnmosher

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Feb 21, 2007
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I write nonfiction and since I'm a creative type, I usually write thoughts out on paper. It's just the way thoughts flow. Then I put it on my computer. But there are times when I just hack away at the keyboard. ;)
 
Oct 2, 2022
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I write nonfiction and since I'm a creative type, I usually write thoughts out on paper. It's just the way thoughts flow. Then I put it on my computer. But there are times when I just hack away at the keyboard. ;)
Yes! At least you write on paper a little bit. I'm surprised most people don't. I think it's a lot easier to plan everything with pencil and paper than a bunch of digital pixels all over a screen:)
 
May 29, 2018
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I either use pen and paper or my portable word processor ( no longer being made). I then can either type the pen and paper into my computer and catch spelling errors then, or I can upload from the portable and the computer lets me know where my spelling errors are.

Basically, the process is what makes your work easier for you.
 
Oct 2, 2022
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I either use pen and paper or my portable word processor ( no longer being made). I then can either type the pen and paper into my computer and catch spelling errors then, or I can upload from the portable and the computer lets me know where my spelling errors are.

Basically, the process is what makes your work easier for you.
Exactly. There is no wrong or right way to write. It's all up to preference.
 
May 28, 2019
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Computer - but I always print a hard copy to read and mark up edits. I find reading a paper copy helps to catch awkward sentences or dialogue. I can strike through any bits I want to delete or move.

Then to go to the computer copy and redraft with the marked up paper copy beside me helps keep me focused. PS always save new versions under a new file name eg
1. 1st Draft
2. 2nd Draft

It may seem obviously but believe me lots of writers don't do this and then have issues later on if they want to put back something from an earlier version or to check something out.
 
Oct 2, 2022
200
130
Computer - but I always print a hard copy to read and mark up edits. I find reading a paper copy helps to catch awkward sentences or dialogue. I can strike through any bits I want to delete or move.
I've heard some people do it that way. If I had a printer, I'd probably print and mark it up, as well as writing out the first draft on paper. I just can't away from that first draft hard copy. I'm the same way when I read other people's books. Nothing can compare to a physical copy, in my opinion.
Then to go to the computer copy and redraft with the marked up paper copy beside me helps keep me focused. PS always save new versions under a new file name eg
1. 1st Draft
2. 2nd Draft

It may seem obviously but believe me lots of writers don't do this and then have issues later on if they want to put back something from an earlier version or to check something out.
I actually only just started doing this in the last couple of months. I usually do three drafts of a story, so I save the first as draft one etc.... I've had times in the past where I've wanted to look back at something, but it's gone since I deleted it.

Great advice!
 

lynnmosher

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Feb 21, 2007
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I always print a hard copy to read and mark up edits. I find reading a paper copy helps to catch awkward sentences or dialogue. I can strike through any bits I want to delete or move.

Then to go to the computer copy and redraft with the marked up paper copy beside me helps keep me focused. PS always save new versions under a new file name
Oh, yes, yes! I've done this for years. It's so much easier to mark up the paper and then make the corrections.

One other thing, Nehemiah. I don't know if you do this but whenever you remove a portion of text, be sure you save it in another document. You might want to use it in another writing. ;)
 
Oct 2, 2022
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Oh, yes, yes! I've done this for years. It's so much easier to mark up the paper and then make the corrections.

One other thing, Nehemiah. I don't know if you do this but whenever you remove a portion of text, be sure you save it in another document. You might want to use it in another writing. ;)
I've never done that before, but I should. That could come in handy. Thanks
 

Johne

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Sep 27, 2005
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Hey, what's wrong with paper and pen?
There is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer. It's completely personal preference.

I know many working writers who have paper / pen as an intrinsic part of their process, and that's cool.

If the question is what I use, I've been typing for so long that my thoughts appear on the screen as if by magic, and I can edit / workshop them far faster on a good keyboard than I ever could on paper. Plus, I'm at the age where writing with a pen hurts and is also illegible, while, I'm light on my fingers on a keyboard and type at a ludicrous speed. Furthermore, when I have some text, I can repurpose that in eleven different ways with a couple of keystrokes. It's faster, easier, and I can then use a variety of powerful apps to get the most use out of that text.

If I did handwrite, I'd still have to get that text into my various apps, and there are tools for that, but in my view, I'm cutting out the middle-man and just creating straight in the tool rather than having the OCR the text in.

Some authors dictate their stuff, and that's cool, too. However you get words on a page is what's best.
 
Oct 2, 2022
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There is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer. It's completely personal preference.
Exactly. I totally agree.
I know many working writers who have paper / pen as an intrinsic part of their process, and that's cool.

If the question is what I use, I've been typing for so long that my thoughts appear on the screen as if by magic, and I can edit / workshop them far faster on a good keyboard than I ever could on paper. Plus, I'm at the age where writing with a pen hurts and is also illegible, while, I'm light on my fingers on a keyboard and type at a ludicrous speed. Furthermore, when I have some text, I can repurpose that in eleven different ways with a couple of keystrokes. It's faster, easier, and I can then use a variety of powerful apps to get the most use out of that text.

If I did handwrite, I'd still have to get that text into my various apps, and there are tools for that, but in my view, I'm cutting out the middle-man and just creating straight in the tool rather than having the OCR the text in.
I guess that makes sense. It is definitely a lot slower on paper. That's why I do it though. I feel like I can focus better when I'm going slow. Then again, I shouldn't put my lack of brain power on anyone else :D Just kidding.
 

Johne

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Sep 27, 2005
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A good tool should release your creativity. For some, it's an ink pen with a nib on good paper. For me, it's Scrivener and Notion and a really responsive keyboard. (I write on a Logitech hybrid gaming keyboard with Romer GX Red switches that are a kind of a mechanical switch that feels like a membrane switch. The result is a smooth, fluid keystroke using Linear actuation which is great for double-tapping, rapid keystrokes in succession, and uninterrupted half-presses.)


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I changed my OS from Windows 10 to MacOS because Scrivener 3 is most powerful and gets the earliest updates on the native Mac side. Plus, once I began using the latest MacOS on the latest 16" MacBook Pro, I was having so much fun that I only turn on my Windows gaming tower for gaming with friends. I do everything else on the Mac side.

Because I like my keyboard and mouse and webcam so much, I use a KVM switch to easily switch over between Windows and Mac, and use both with my dual monitors so I don't have to keep changing peripherals.

By the time I add in my iPad Pro, I have a system with great flexibility and power that's easy to use and helps make writing a lot of fun. (Which is key, as I spend a great deal of time writing. Now that I've kind of figured out what I'm doing, I'm trying to get as much written as fast as I can.)

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