Writing Books/Techniques


I am currently writing a fiction book.  I am curious about your use of computers or whether your write long-hand.  I do all my writing long-hand, then transfer it all to my computer.

Dear Brian:

Isn't it odd, so many writers prefer to write longhand first. I don't do much actual writing these days - I mean on my own stuff - I mostly do mentoring and editing. In that work, I use the computer exclusively.

I really enjoy writing by hand, there's nothing like the feel of the paper and a really good pen, and of course a blank page is irresistible to a writer. But I can't seem to get more than a few pages ahead, then I want to go to the computer. It's just so much faster and easier, because I revise constantly as I go along. Plus, I hate to type the same material twice: if I lose a chapter I am in agony over having to write it over again, and will put it off as long as I can.  

If you are the type who just charges along in longhand and is able to finish whole chapters without changing a thing, longhand is the way to go. But even better than that, you might consider a voice recognition system (VRS). The high end versions are expensive but even the cheaper programs do a reasonable job of getting your words on paper. It takes a long time to train them to your voice and in the beginning you will have to correct a lot of errors, but many can be fixed with spellcheck. And once you get them trained, you should be able to gallop right along.

If your system works for you, by all means stick to it. What other writers do isn't important; you need to adopt the method that is the most comfortable for you. It isn't important, but I believe that's the method Stephen King uses, and who can argue with his success?

I hope this has helped. If it has, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high rating over 250+ questions.

And good luck with your book!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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