Lost And (Hopefully) Found

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

Does anyone remember when my flash drive died about a year and a half or so ago? I lost just about everything. All my manuscripts and ideas. There were a few novels I didn’t lose because they were all ready printed out, but I lost about 85% of my writing. Yeah, that was not a fun time…and I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing that up again.

So…Camp NaNoWriMo ends in about three days. I have been writing my novel Detective Florence (Book 2). I wrote a little over 3k words yesterday bringing my to about 44k. After that, I decided to write my Short Story Sunday because it was getting late in the day and it needed to be done.

Well, I have been working so much on Detective Florence that I have been in the habit of clicking on that document when I hit the “save” button. So when I was working on my Short Story Sunday and I hit save…

Yes, I saved over my entire 150-page-44k-words-so-close-to-being-completed-for-Camp-NaNo-and-the-entire-story-line manuscript. The worst part of it is that I did not do this once, but three times. Yes, three. When my flash drive died, I had no back-ups so I got Dropbox and fairly recently got Google Drive. Every time I work on something–writing, homework, anything–I save it to all three. Therefore, when I did my Short Story Sunday, I saved it to…all three.

However, I have overcome the initial shock and sadness of this tragedy. I have been taking notes and writing the scenes as I write them on sticky notes so I have all the ideas. Plus, the story wasn’t going where I originally wanted it to go. So today I moved around some sticky notes, got rid of a few, and added new ones. The story (hopefully) will make much better sense.

Kris was good enough to get back the very first draft from when I saved it the first time, so she got me back the first 5,012 words of my story. This means I have about 45k left to write in order to validate for NaNo. With five days left (including yesterday and today), I decided I’m going to rewrite the entire novel. That’s about 10,000 words a day.

Since I all ready had the 5k I just needed to write 5k yesterday and then 10k for the rest of the month. Except I was too discouraged yesterday so I decided to start fresh today.

It took me from 8 in the morning until a little after 7 tonight, but I wrote 15,029 words. My novel is now back up to 20,041 words. I can only hope I can keep up this pace for the next three days (seriously, pray for me!).

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One Too Many Stories

Too Many Free Characters…

Meet Leo!
Meet Leo!

Do you all remember when my flash drive died? I was upset and disappointed. Then I quickly realized it was for the best. I had so many novels started on there that were no where near being finished. Half of them didn’t even make sense and weren’t good at all.

So losing my flash drive made me feel as though I was starting completely over, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I told myself that I was going to work on only one novel at a time. Only when I completed the first draft I’d be able to move on. I need to finish what I start.

I was doing so well, then I realized the other day that I have been falling out of my routine. I have three novels started, four in desperate need to be edited, and more ideas attempting to push themselves out of my head. It’s annoying, actually.

I have been doing pretty good. I haven’t been starting anything new other than what I already have started. I’m in the mood for both Hunter & Comet and Union Academy. So I’m going to try to finish those first while trying to edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover at the same time. I just need to print out Diary of a Lover (and give it to Kris) while Hunter has a long way to go before I can give it to anyone else. As stated in my previous post, I figured out what is wrong with Hunter and I desperately need to fix it. So I’m going to do that and it’s most likely going to take a while.

Speaking of my flash drive dying…I know that conversation was a little while ago, but LOOK! This is my new flash drive. He’s rubber and small and adorable and 8GB! And he was 15 bucks. 😉

Meet Leo's other half!
Meet Leo’s other half!

What An Interesting Day

June 3 and June 4, 2013…

 

Yesterday, June 3, I had a very productive day. A few nights ago I began to edit my novel Hunter. I got half way through page four and then stopped. As you all should know, I hate editing. It’s a tedious process for me and I wish I could wave my magic wand and the novel will be perfect and ready to be published. However, I seemed to have misplaced my wand. How sad.

Chapter one was sixteen pages long so I didn’t even get halfway through the chapter. So yesterday I decided that I was going to finish chapter one at the very least. And I did.

Of course I wanted to get more done, but I didn’t have the time to. I had to get my cousins ready for school, so I was up early and started editing as soon as they left the house which was at 8:00 in the morning. However, I finished editing Diary of a Lover not too long ago and we just bought more ink for the printer so I decided to print it out. It wasn’t until 9:30 that I finally finished wrangling with the printhead of the printer that I gave up. Yes, I said I gave up instead of fixed. It’s still broken and I have no idea what I did. My mom said we’re probably going to have to buy a new computer. So in the meantime, Diary of a Lover is going to collect dust in my flash drive for a little while.

On top of that, I had Raph out of her tank and she kept peeing all over the floor. Not really, it was only twice because I had her walking around for about five hours, so I guess I can’t blame her. But she also kept getting into little nooks and crannies and kept getting stuck and flipping onto her shell. Granted, she can flip herself back over but it still makes me jump out of my seat and panic just in case. Not to mention that Chip kept crying, Hunter kept jumping on and off of my desk, and Comet kept barking. Everyone was at work and school so I expected to have a quiet house to myself. Not when you have two dogs, a cat, and a turtle, apparently.

However, I got through the first chapter of Hunter and I was going to continue, but then I realized that I had a lot to do on my other website Spilled Ink. I figured I could do things on there and get through another couple of pages. The next thing I knew I had to go to work. But at least I got what I wanted to get done.

Today, I took the day off from work because I had a dentist appointment and Kris had the day off, too. So we went to Barnes and Noble. She worked o her novel while I edited Hunter. I wanted to edit two chapters. The only problem with that was that the second chapter was over twenty pages long. Not only do I read slow, but I ripped apart the first chapter and I planned on doing the same to the second chapter, and it was over twenty pages long. Needless to say I only got through chapter two and that alone took me three hours.

I plan on getting the third chapter edited by the end of the night. I decided to come post on here before I started editing. I haven’t posted in a few days…or maybe I’m just stalling?

 

What To Do

I Have Been Getting Absolutely Nothing Done….

Also, this is my last week of classes for school and finals are next week. Granted, I only have one test, but that test is stressing me out big time. On top of that, I’m trying to figure what I’m doing for school next semester since I graduate this month. I got into a school and had a plan, but I have changed my mind. Now I have to start the process all over again. That’s a pain in the butt, too.

At the moment, I am writing four novels at once. All of them go together and three of them are not to be published. Although, who knows? If The Blank Page series kicks off pretty well whenever I get that published, I may publish the characters’ books just as a side series. So I have been working bit by bit on that.

However, I have been in the mood to edit my novels instead of writing new ones. Believe me when I say that this never happens. I hate editing with a burning passion and usually when I finish a novel, I set it aside only to be dug up again in a few years and say, “Hey, I remember this!” And then it gets buried again…

But a couple of months ago…well, I think it was back in March, I decided that I was going to set up a writing schedule for myself. This is how it goes:

January — Write
February — Write
March — Edit
April — Camp NaNo
May — Write
June — Edit
July — Camp NaNo
August — Write
September — Write
October — Edit
November — NaNo
December — Write

All the months before the NaNo months are editing months to make sure that I don’t start something new and “cheat” at NaNo. Also, notice that this is only three months. Again, I hate editing.

I started this back in March, except I wrote instead of edited because my flash drive was broken. I have two novels to edit because I had printed them out before my flash drive broke, but I either didn’t think to edit those two novels or I just ignored the fact that I was able to edit them…who knows? My point is that for 2013 I may switch the months of March and May. I wrote in March so I think I’m going to edit in May. I’m probably going to switch back and forth between editing and writing The Blank Page. Then in June I will try to strictly edit.

The thing is that summer is nearly here and I want it to be a good one. So far, 2013 has been promising. I have been keeping up with my New Year’s Resolutions (which never happens) and I have been doing great on my writing. I want the summer to be just as good since I won’t have school and I won’t have work. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I kind of need to make some money, right? But it will still give me a lot more time to write instead of writing around school and work. Plus, half of the time I’ll be watching my cousins and they’re older, so it’s not like they don’t know how to entertain themselves and I have to keep an eye on them at all times.

But this summer I really want to finish editing something. I have two children’s picture books that are completed…edited and all. I sent Asking Bobby to a publisher about a month ago. They said if I don’t hear back within 30 days, I should e-mail them…which I still have to do. There’s another publisher that I really like, but they only take exclusive manuscripts. So I’m going to send Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium there and send Asking Bobby to a bunch of other places. If I get all rejections, I’ll swap the two. Make sense?

In the meantime, I’m going to be editing Diary of a Lover. My goal is to have that novel completely edited and ready to be published by the end of the summer. Then during the school year I can send that novel to places, as well. While I wait for those three books to get accepted, I can continue writing other things.

The reason I’m planning on editing Dairy of a Lover before Hunter is because I have edited Diary of a Lover before. I’m in the middle of the seventh draft (believe it or not) whereas I have not even glanced at Hunter since I finished it. I finished it back in 2011, I think. Wow, right?

So that’s that. That’s all of my plans and I pray to God that they follow through…or that I keep up with them.

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Mind Blown

Ready To Be Confused…?

 

First things first: I lost count of my word count. Seriously, I thought I was doing really well with the word count and keeping up with it, but I just calculated everything out and I was about 4,000 words off. The word count on here was higher than what my calculator said. So I decided to change it. I’m adding the words from Take Over, Saving Each Other, Seeing Things, and so far of The Blank Page because that’s really all I have written for 2013. So the word count is a little less, but oh well. I think I might have gotten confused because of the NaNo count, as well.

That’s not what I meant by the confusion, though. Although I am pretty confused about the word count, but whatever. What I was going to mention about being confused is the fact that I am trying to write four books at one time right now. Yes.

I have been trying to stick with one book at a time to make it easier on myself and to force myself to be more organized. So far, it’s been working. The only thing is that I have Seeing Things started, but I plan on finishing that as soon as I finish The Blank Page.

Speaking of the The Blank Page…you know how that novel is about three writers getting together once a week to write their own novels? Well, three novels plus The Blank Page, equals four novels. There you have it. I am going to be writing four novels at once.

When I first started writing The Blank Page (before my flash drive died) I thought about writing their novels along with the real one because I thought it would help me keep track of their progress, figure out their own writing styles and habits, and I could get their plots straightened out. I never did, though. I don’t know why and I got confused a lot and there were a lot of holes in The Blank Page…holes that my characters found and jumped through as I tried to continue on with the novel. So not only did I have no idea what was going on, but they decided to play hide-and-seek on me…and I lost.

So I decided to write each novel as I write The Blank Page. It’s going to be tough, but I think I will be able to get through it. I hope I can, anyway. It’s tough right now because I gave each of them their own way of thinking on how to write a novel. For example…

Adair is writing fantasy. She doesn’t know the title of her novel and she doesn’t think. She just writes whatever comes to her mind because to her, editing is when the real writing begins so the first draft is going to be crap no matter how well she writes it. She just wants to get the editing process sooner rather than later. Her novel is single-spaced, but she still has more pages than the boys because she types a lot faster.

Justin is writing a young adult drama and he is the complete opposite of Adair. He knows the title and he thinks a lot. He has a notebook filled with notes and, outlining for this novel. He knows the exact beginning, middle, and end to his novel to make sure that he doesn’t get stuck behind writer’s block. He hates editing, which is another reason as to why he plans it all out. He also types really slowly to try not to make too many mistakes to make editing easier, as well. His novel is double-spaced “as it should be.”

Dominic, in a way, is a mix of Adair and Justin. He came in not even knowing the genre. Apparently, he has written mystery, suspense, and thrillers before, so he decided to write a mystery after Adair told him to. His is double-spaced, but still has the least amount of pages. He doesn’t plan, as he didn’t even know the genre, but he hates editing. He has no idea what the title is and he has no idea where the plot is going to end up. He doesn’t even really have a plot at the moment.

So as you can tell, it’s a little tough because I have to write two novels entirely from scratch and I have to plan out Justin’s novel. Well, I don’t have to, but I want to. It’ll be a good exercise to step into my characters’ shoes and get to know them a little more. I’m just a little afraid of what I might find.

 

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Day 25

I Disappeared, Didn’t I…

Hello again! Sorry for vanishing into thin air. Life has been  a little hectic lately. I have a lot of homework since it’s nearing the end of the semester and I’ve been back at work this week because April vacation is over…sad day.

However, I come with good news! My word count for Camp NaNo is 50,198! I won! But I’m going to keep on going, so I didn’t validate it yet. Plus I’m at school right now, so I don’t really want to validate it on the school computer and not my laptop.

For Camp I wrote many things. I started and completed Saving Each Other, I finished Take Over, I started Seeing Things, and I started The Blank Page. You’re probably confused because the last time I posted I was planning on starting and finishing Seeing Things. Well, I was starting to get out of the writing groove and I realized that it was because of that story. After constantly working on Saving Each Other, I realized that I was beginning to get a little sick of the plot and the characters. I need a break from that story. So I decided to write The Blank Page again.

I hope everyone remembers, but I’ll say it again: The Blank Page is a novel about three strangers getting together through a writing website to write with each other and help one another out through the ups and downs of writing a novel. So basically it’s what us writers go through when we’re trying to start a novel, get through the novel, finish the novel, edit it, publish it, etc. I started it, my flash drive broke, so I lost it. So I’m starting it over again.

I have a total of ten single-spaced pages and 5,000 words even for The Blank Page. So things are going pretty well with it so far. I’ve been getting back to writing a lot more since I started it and stopped writing Seeing Things. Maybe I’ll finish Seeing Things when I finish The Blank Page. I have too many novels going on…

So there you have it. I think that’s all the updates I have for right now. I hope to write a lot more of The Blank Page before the end of the month so I can keep updating my word count for Camp NaNo.

I hope all you other Campers are finished or at least very close to it!

2013: 131,977/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Busy-ness

This, That, And The Other…

 

Well, it has been almost (ish) a month since I have posted on here. I remember that my last post I mentioned that I was going to write all weekend (because we had that blizzard) and that I would post again right after the weekend. That went well, didn’t it?

Actually, it did. I wrote during the weekend. I didn’t write as much as I wanted to do and I certainly didn’t write as much as I had the time for, but something is better than nothing, right?  I have been writing off and on since then. I’m working on a new novel. Yes, another new novel. I’m not working on The Blank Page anymore. Since I lost my flash drive, I haven’t really been encouraged to write anything that I had already started.

This novel is called Take Over. I thought of the idea while I was at work and then forgot about it. Then while I was in the shower a couple of days later, I thought of it again and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I came up with ideas and characters and everything. It was a fun shower.

I’ll post the summary to this novel at a later time, but the basic of it is that a group of high school students plan take over the school. Not in a mean, bad way, but only because they’re seniors and they want to leave the school as “legends.” They don’t mean anything bad by it, but it soon gets a little out of hand and it’s a riot…teachers versus students. This is what I have been writing lately and it’s coming along quite nicely. I’ll get into more details about the characters and such later, as well.

I decided to switch up my New Year’s Resolution a bit. I decided that I’m going to try to write at least 1,000 words a day. So I should have about 365,000 words by the end of the year. So by the end of February I should have about 59,000 or something like that. Since I wrote a lot of The Blank Page, I’m going to include that word count because I did write it during 2013. So that, (plus what I have for Take Over so far) equals to 27,802 words. A bit behind, yes, but I think I can do it because I don’t usually end up writing just 1,000 words at a time.

I have 12,663 words for Take Over and 21 pages. Hopefully it keeps up going at the rate it’s going. 😉

 

2013: 27,802/365,000 Words Written
2013: 932/18,250 Pages Read

Ready…Set…

…Wait A Minute…

 

My laptop is fixed. The internet is fixed. The only thing that sucks about it is that it killed my battery…that thing used to last five-six hours. The other day it was at 50% which apparently is now 33 minutes…but whatever! I have to be thankful that the thing actually works again, right? Right! My flash drive is officially gone, but…think positive! Oh, and the printer still won’t work…again, think positive!

Except I haven’t written anything…I haven’t really had the time. Except I’m stuck at school today for a little bit and I don’t have work today. Well, I’m babysitting today, but that’s only for two hours unlike work. Anyway, here is my point: I have to leave for class in about an hour or so, so I think I’m going to begin writing again. Start fresh. Clean slate. After class, which ends at 11:45, but I have a test so I’ll probably be out of there by at least 11:30, I may write again. Although I have a meeting with my advisor at 12:30, so I might just hang around until then. But when the meeting is over, I’m stuck at school until at least 1:45 before my friend drives me home so I can write after the meeting! Although, my friend has a test as well so I might actually get out of here fairly early…

Anyway, I then babysit 3-5ish and then when I come home: BAM! I’m breaking out my typing fingers again. The other day when I pasted “Sad News” I had the hardest time writing it…wanna know why? I hadn’t typed in so long because I hadn’t been in school and I hadn’t been able to use my laptop because of the internet, and I hadn’t been writing at all. My fingers basically forgot how to type. It really was sad news. I’m having a hard time typing now, but I think that’s because my fingers are frozen.

Back on topic: I’m going to write at any moment I can…or any moment I can get to a computer. When I come home from babysitting, I’ll write. And I shall write all night! I’m not going to school tomorrow, even though I have a math quiz.

Everyone has heard of this blizzard that we’re going to get, correct? It’s starting Friday morning and ending Saturday afternoon. I don’t know where any of you are, but in my area we’re going to be getting about two feet of snow as well as some really harsh winds. I doubt I’m going to have school tomorrow, but if I do, the roads and such are probably going to be terrible by the time I get out of class. My class tomorrow is 9-10:15. So I think I’m just going to skip regardless of whether there is school or not. My main concern is work. Fridays I work 11-6 so if my town doesn’t close school, then I’m going to have to go to work…if it is bad then it will be a good thing I skip school because otherwise my poor dad would have to drive all the way to my school and then all the way back to our town to drop me off at work. I live about 20 minutes away from my school, but that’s without traffic and such. With the snow…it would probably take over an hour just to get there.

But again…back on topic: Basically I’m going to be home all day tomorrow, Friday. I highly doubt I’ll have school and work, but we’ll just have to wait and see. I’m praying I won’t have work. But since I’ll be home all day with nothing to do, I’m going to write all day. Saturday, too. It’ll still be snowing and I never do anything on Saturdays anyway, so I can just write all day. I think it’s going to be a very productive weekend!

My only concern is that if the power goes out…considering that my laptop only lasts probably a little over an hour now, I’ll be screwed. Although, I have plenty of notebooks I can resort to, but typing is a lot faster. Plus, I have my iPod and I have apps called DraftPad and A Novel Idea. I’ve explained A Novel Idea before, it basically helps you plan out scenes, titles, characters, plots, etc. It’s really cool, really fancy, and free. DraftPad, another free app, is a blank piece of paper and you just write anything and everything. Then when you’re done, you can post it to a website, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail it to yourself, whatever. So I could use that and e-mail it to myself in case the power comes back on. Then I can start where I left off. But then if my iPod dies…eh, whatever.

So I’m planning a productive weekend and I hope it’s productive for all of you people out there, as well! If you’re in the area and you’re going to get hit by this storm…be careful and good luck! I’ll post back tomorrow morning with how well I’m about to do with writing. 🙂

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Computer Versus Notebook

Flash Drive or Pen…?

 

Do you prefer to use a computer for your writing or a notebook?  I think that there are pros and cons to using a computer and there are pros and cons to using a notebook.  However, no matter what the pros are or what the cons are, people will most likely choose one certain one over the other all the time.

A computer has its advantages.  Nine out of ten people type faster than they write, so typing would be an advantage over hand writing.  Plus, there’s spell-check.  If you write on the computer, the computer will tell you whether you’re right or wrong–of course, the computer is sometimes wrong, so you have to watch out.  If you use the computer, you can check to see how many words you have written and you can see how long it is.  I’ll use myself as an example.  A finished manuscript is typed and double-spaced (most of the time).  During my free time in school, I wrote in a notebook.  By the end of the semester, I had filled up an entire one-subject notebook of a story.  When I typed it up on the computer, the manuscript was less than ten pages.  Of course, the story was not nearly complete, but my point is that if you use a computer, you know exactly the length of your novel.

Now there are disadvantages to using the computer.  It’s one word: Internet.  Yes, if you need to research something on Google, then that’s okay.  However, for most people, when they log onto the internet, they stay on the internet for a good few hours.  They forget what they’re doing and then when their laptop dies or they need to leave to go to work or whatever, they remember, “Oh, yeah.  I was supposed to be writing.” Of course, there is nothing that they can do about it.  They shut down, go do whatever it is that life needs them to do and do they get back to the story?  Eventually, but not likely that same day.  There is also the disadvantage of the computer crashing or getting a virus (which, I would say is technically the same thing).  Once that happens, you’re screwed.  You may be able to get rid of the virus, but all your documents are now infected.  That is, if they even made it through the whole crashing process.  You might have lost them forever.  And yes, that is why we have flash drives these days.  You pop it into the computer, save everything onto that and (God forbid) your computer dies tragically you still have all your crap.  It’s magic!  It’s saved!  However, a flash drive is only good for you if you actually have it.

Let me tell you this story from a couple of semesters ago…I was at school.  My sister and I arrived in the early morning, we went to our classes, and then we were gone by, I think, noon.  Maybe later, I don’t know, but the time is irrelevant.  The time you need to know is that at seven o’clock at night, yes 7:00 PM, I decide to write.  I turn on my laptop, I get my flash drive.  Except I don’t.  I look in my bag, all the drawers in my desk, in my room, everything.  No flash drive.  Then it hits me: I used my flash drive at school.  Guess where I left it?  That’s right; I left it connected to one of the school computers in the library.  I was completely panicked.  I was distraught.  I had convinced myself that I was never ever going to see my flash drive again.  I thought to myself, “Well, that’s it!  All those stories…all that hard work…wasted!  I am never going to write again!” No, seriously, I vowed that I was never going to write again if I didn’t get my flash drive back…I’m a very sensitive person.  Anyway, I run up to my bedroom, probably crying I don’t really remember, and I tell my sister everything that happened.  Well, thank the lord that my school library added a new feature.  We can IM the librarians now…if the library is open and someone is on duty, that is.  Lucky for me, there was a librarian online.  My sister spoke with her and apparently a very nice man found it and turned it in to the lost and found.  The next day, we went to school to the Lost and Found and I got my flash drive back.  I don’t know who that student was who returned my flash drive, but I would give him a big bear hug if I ever found out.

So, computers have advantages and disadvantages…more advantages than the disadvantages.  But notebooks also have their own advantages and disadvantages:

Hand writing may be slower, but think of it as a first-first draft.  If you hand write and then type it (believe me because I’ve done it plenty of times before) as you type you’ll be editing.  You will notice spelling, grammar, and even sentence structure mistakes.  As you type, you will fix these mistakes so it’s as though you’re getting a whole draft edited as you format it.  Another advantage: they are portable.  As long as you have a pen that works with you, then you can write wherever you go.  Sure, laptops are portable, but then you have to lug around  a heavy laptop, a flash drive (if you need one) and the cord…remember, laptops die.  Notebooks don’t.

How are notebooks not a good idea?  Smudging.  I guess it depends on the type of pen you use, but when I write, my arm tends to smudge all the previous words I wrote.  And I’m right-handed.  The other problem would be messiness.  It depends on you and your hand writing and it’s not like it’s your fault if you have crappy hand writing or not, but still.  I hand write fast and my hand writing isn’t the best, to begin with.  When I try to re-read over the things I wrote, I get stuck every once in a while trying to read my own writing.  People may not see this one as a big deal, but to me it is.  Once you start writing in a notebook and then you take it somewhere with you to write in your spare time (like I do when I go to school), you need to make sure that you’ll have enough paper left in the notebook to last you through the day.  The majority of one-subject notebooks only have 70 pages.  If you use them double-sided (which I think everyone should) then you technically have 140 pages.  However, it also depends on how big you write…I write like a giant, so I don’t always get the most words down on one sheet.  The point is a computer has an unlimited amount of pages, whereas notebooks don’t.

And there you have it.  I’m sure that there are more pros and cons to both computers and notebooks, but those were the ones that I could come up with.  I think that it depends on how often you write, where you write, how you write, etc., should depend on what you use.  Then again, you need to use something that you’re comfortable with.  Me?  I couldn’t tell you which I prefer.  I use the computer the majority of the time.  That’s mostly because I have an unlimited amount of paper, plus the words get down faster.  However, you will sometimes catch me writing in a notebook.  I need a notebook to write in whenever I can’t get to a computer and it makes me feel relaxed.  It’s quieter because I don’t have the typing noise in the background as I think and try to come up with something to write next…although I quite like the typing noise. I usually listen to music when I write whether I am on the computer or using a notebook, so I’m not really making much sense right now, but that’s just how I work.

Which do you use?