Author Topic: Could you write without a computer?  (Read 2688 times)  

Offline Speaker-To-Animals

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2014, 08:05:17 AM »
I got my first word processor in 1982 when I was 16. The answer is a very big no.

My hands cramp within minutes of printing and I can't even write cursive anymore. I can remember the lower case letters, but I tried to write something cursive a few years ago and realized I no longer even remembered how to properly form the capitals.

Offline jackz4000

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2014, 08:42:20 AM »
I first began using a typewriter when I was about 8, so I could go back to it, but why ever would I want to. Changing anything would be a constant chore and re-writes or scene moving...ugh. Please pass the White-Out.

My cursive looks like the enigma code and I never use it. My printing best resembles early Sumerian and though I use it for shopping lists you can find me in the supermarket staring at a little piece of paper trying to figure out what I wrote the day before.

I'd be toast without a computer.

Some authors find it soothing to write by hand on paper. I'd be crying.

Offline Annette_g

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2014, 08:45:26 AM »
I do most of my writing long hand in notebooks before getting to the computer. There is something so off-putting about a blank computer screen for me, not so much a blank page. My first ever 'published' writing was done on an old-fashioned manual typewriter, where the S key was stuck in subscript the whole time, but the newspaper I was sending articles to accepted them despite that  ;D Of course, the subscript S didn't appear in the newspaper though :)


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Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2014, 09:06:57 AM »
My first computer was a Commodore; it had to be hooked up to the TV for the monitor and didn't have a hard drive.  Programs had to be loaded from a floppy disk.

It had a word processor that was build into the Rom so I could do limited word procesing on it.  It had to be saved on a floppy disk.

Printing was incrediable slow and was expensive, expecially for colors.

This was before the Internet; some people had sites you could dial into and download things or chat with other people.  Of course, modems had to be bought extra.

I remember this one site that the guy had.  He bragged that he had a 10 mg hard drive that you could download things from.  It was only available for a few hours each day. 

My son and I downloaded a nude picture that took about half a hour.  In those days, you couldn't see the picture ahead of time so you got what you got.

Now things are much different; I have newer desktop computers running Windows 7 and a laptop running Windows 7.  We have high speed Internet and download whatever we want. 

It is hard to realize how much compters have changed.  Now I mainly use my computer to write on.  My wife uses hers to e-mail her friends and to play games. 

We use the laptop as a backup computer and to reconcile the checkbook.  It is amazing how much we depend on our computers when once we didn't even have a computer.

Now my son does his job over a computer from home since he is a computer tech.

I write up my novels on my computer and send them to Amazon and D2D for publishing. 

My computers were bought with money that I earned writing.  So life has gotten better with computers.
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline usedtocare

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2014, 09:39:21 AM »
Yes. I used to write in composition notebooks with fine point pens. I still have them tucked away in the basement. Thanks for mentioning this topic, now I wanna go on a visit down below.  ;)

Offline LBrent

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2014, 09:40:23 AM »
I could, sure.  But it would sux.

This.

I wrote in speckled composition notebooks from childhood until my 20s. Then I typed on a Smith Corona until I discovered the Internet in 1995.

I find writing on the computer so much easier.

Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2014, 10:25:39 AM »
I used a notebook per story for the longest time, then a friend borrowed me a typewriter, which was a manual.  I was eventually able to get an electric typewriter of my own and for years wrote on that, maybe going through three typewriters...the last being a very nice one with a correction ribbon, but an error had to be realized within one or two sentences or out of luck.  I spent a lot of time retyping entire manuscripts.  My first computer was an IBM PS1, not internet capable, so while I was able to enjoy all the editing and print-out benefits, I still ended up retyping entire manuscripts onto the Dell once I owned one. 

It's been a long journey, but all I learned about the craft during those times has been invaluable.  All the references were in books and The Writer for years and years. I still use a paper notebook for the first several chapters until the story really begins to formulate, and then turn to Google Docs where I store everything in case of a computer malfunction. So, I do still compose by hand to a great extent.  So, yes, I would still write without a computer. 

Offline vrabinec

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2014, 10:26:27 AM »
Bored in the doctor's waiting room. This was the last thread I was reading before I made the drive to get here, so a flash fic thing popped in my head on the way over.

Big Mike and Tara trotted on either side of the footprints that led along the Ash Plateau. They'd set out at dawn as soon as they realized Mickey was missing. Beads of sweat mingled with the ash and ran down their zebraed skin like black tears. It blackened their necklines and cuffs, clinging in black Rorschach splotches on their chests. Flasks, knives, flint boxes, bows and quivers clattered with their gait.

Big Mike's sickle worked it's way lose. Mike twisted and secured it onto his backpack as he ran, losing ground to Tara. He spit and picked up his pace to catch up to her, his face just as worry-twisted as hers. The ash tasted nearly as bitter as his soul.

I shouldn't have chastised him for snapping the bow," he said, swerving to avoid one of the thousands of charred tree stumps that dotted the plateau like stubble on a giant cheek.

Tara didn't reply.

In the distance stood some trees that hadn't been quite as decimated in the wars.

"No!" Tara opened up into a full sprint.

Here eyes were better than Mike's, but soon he saw what she did. A figure, sprawled on the ground beside a black trunk of a tree that stood ten feet tall and had a wire swinging from the stub of a thick branch.

Even before he got to the body, Big Mike knew it was his boy. The size was right. The clothes in the bundle under the tree bore the beads Mikey liked to decorate his shirts with.

Tara fell to her knees, hair clasped in her hands, wailing.

No doubt it was the work of the creeper. The body had been perfectly, skinned. Beneath the dangling wire, the imprint of a tub that had collected the blood announced it clearly. Mikey had fallen to the same creature that had taken the Miller girls, Old man Dewey, Squirrel Chop George, and Helico Joe.

Flies swarmed around the body, it's meat already sticky and shiny, curing in the blazing sun.

Big Mike tried to hug his mate, but she shoved him away.

"This is all your fault!" She pointed in his face. "Your fault! Why did you yell at him?" She punched and kicked Big Mike until she could no longer stand, then dropped on her exhausted haunches.

Mike untied the shovel from his backpack and buried the body.

Before they left, he fingered the wire noose. Rubber padding protected the noose. The killer didn't want the wire cutting the skin, no doubt. And whoever it was, he was expert at hiding his tracks, because there was no trail leading out.

They returned to the river and broke the news to their clan.

"It's the Cannibal Clans!" Freaky Pete hollered, wild-eyed. "We need to form a posse and hunt them down."

"If it was the Cannibal Clans, why didn't they take the muscle?" Big Mike replied.

Wild River looked up toward Ash Plateau, tapping his finger on his lips. "What would someone want with the skin and blood?"

Weeks later, Tara's mood hadn't lifted. Post war life had hurled on too many heartaches her way. She wouldn't talk. Wouldn't eat. Big Mike was starting to worry she'd hurt herself.

"Come on, Tara," he said. "Let's go to White Rock Mound. Fat Freddie the Bard is reading a tale today."

She glanced at him with dead eyes. "You go."

"You can't stay like this. We have to move on."

"You go."

Mike didn't really feel like it either, but he had to get the other children out of the funk. So, he gathered them up and they joined the other clans at White Rock, leaving Tara behind.

By the time they got there, Fat Freddie was already seated atop the Runway rock. He must've been doing quite well for himself, because his chin was always greasy, and his belly hung on the wrong side of his belt like a seed sack.

The mood of the other clans reflected Mike's. Many had lost kin to the creeper, but the parents seemed hopeful the Bard's tale would cheer the children.

Fat Freddie sat cross-legged like Buddha and opened the book, theatrically. "Today's tale is called the Battle of the Blue Rains."

That brought smiles to some of the faces. Mike was happy to see Wild River looking on so intently.

"The Blue Rains came after the wars," a voice said.

Big Mike spun. It was Tara, striding slowly toward Fat Freddie. Then it dawned on Mike what she was saying.

He stood up and strode toward the Bard. "Where did you get the paper and ink, fatso?"

"I..." Fat Freddie dry-swallowed. "I had some."

Confusion marked the faces of the other clans, but nobody was about to interrupt Big Mike or Tara.

"Let me see it," Tara said, holding out her hand.

Mike swung around the back of the rock, and sure enough, Fat Freddie jumped down that way, looking a lot like a man who wanted to run for it. Mike grabbed his shoulder and wrenched the book out of his hands. The page was tough but supple. The clans surrounded Fat Freddie, glaring.

They tied his arms to a rod and marched him back to his cave. From all appearances, it was a fine hole in the hill. Treasures all around. An oak barrel for catching rain. Bars of soap. Even a bottle of whiskey. But as soon as Big Mike stepped inside, he knew something was wrong. The stench nearly dropped him to his knees. A living are with a couple steel chairs and even an orange rug didn't appear to have anything that would stink. No, it was coming from a side nook. There, stretched tight on a wire rack, was a skin. And it didn't look like an animal skin. A paper cutter sat on a splintery picnic table next to jars and piles of ash. Some of the jars had black liquid inside, but others had red liquid. He was adding ash to the blood to make ink.
  
Big Mike grabbed Fat Freddie by the jowls and slammed him against a wall.

"How else was I supposed to write down my stories?" Freddie said, his eyes pleading, as if he actually expected a response. "There are no more computers! And a writer has to write!"

Big Mike plunged his knife deep into Fat Freddie's heart and stood over him until the body stopped twitching.

The other clans came in and split up the furniture then went their separate ways. But Wild River stopped on the way back. "I'm going to go back and bury the skins and blood."

"Good idea," Tara said.

Wild River ran back and picked up the skins. No, he couldn't bury them. He had stories of his own to tell. Better stories than Fat Freddie ever could, stories with boos and sex. He'd find subjects to make his paper from outside the near clans, and he too would get rich telling stories, just like Freddie.  

Oop, my turn to go see the doctor. (That went a lot longer than I thought it would.)

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Offline Bluebonnet

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2014, 10:58:00 AM »
Sure. I spent most of my life writing by hand. I have several old manuscripts written entirely by hand. I trained myself to write cursive clearly when I was in college and had to take notes fast in class.

I always hated typing back in the day of the typewriter, and still dislike it, but I use the keyboard now because it's so easy to make revisions and corrections. However, I can always achieve smoother, better writing if I rough it out in a handwritten form first. I guess it depends on how you trained yourself to work when you were young.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 10:59:33 AM by Bluebonnet »

Offline Paul Wornham

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2014, 11:39:16 AM »
I'd be lost without a computer. I've used keyboards for so long that my handwriting has deteriorated completely.
I still make lots of notes by hand, but my problem then is reading what they say later  ::)

 
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Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2014, 11:45:05 AM »
Quote
Bored in the doctor's waiting room. This was the last thread I was reading before I made the drive to get here, so a flash fic thing popped in my head on the way over.

You are so lucky since you don't get shoved right in to see the doctor and can take some time to write.  I never get a moment to even read my kindle since they push me right in.  My allergy doctor is as cute as a spotted pup, but she is as mean as a junkyard dog since she is alway telling me to do things I don't want to do. 

Then she sneaks out into the waiting room and asks my wife questions to see how they compare to my answers.  She knows I am a writer and thinks I use literary license on some of my reponses.

In the old days there were a lot of patients but there aren't many for any of my doctors.  So I always get in quickly.  I might take my laptop with me if I had plenty of time but this immediate response time is rediculous.  Some people have all the luck.  ::)
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline vrabinec

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2014, 11:52:38 AM »
You are so lucky since you don't get shoved right in to see the doctor and can take some time to write.  I never get a moment to even read my kindle since they push me right in.  My allergy doctor is as cute as a spotted pup, but she is as mean as a junkyard dog since she is alway telling me to do things I don't want to do. 

Then she sneaks out into the waiting room and asks my wife questions to see how they compare to my answers.  She knows I am a writer and thinks I use literary license on some of my reponses.

In the old days there were a lot of patients but there aren't many for any of my doctors.  So I always get in quickly.  I might take my laptop with me if I had plenty of time but this immediate response time is rediculous.  Some people have all the luck.  ::)

I dunno. I was getting pretty irritated, waiting there.  My leggs were getting numb on their chairs. I should've brought my laptop so I could get some real writing done. My doctor was stressed, too, man. Gave the girl who was scheduling his appointments crap for overloading him. (Though, that exchange felt kinda awkward, like they might have rehearsed it. Who knows?)

Bedrich Pasek VIII | Website

Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2014, 02:03:10 PM »
Quote
I dunno. I was getting pretty irritated, waiting there.  My leggs were getting numb on their chairs. I should've brought my laptop so I could get some real writing done.

Something unusual has happened here in Pueblo, Colorado.  The hospitals are hiring doctors like crazy since doctors have gotten tired of running their own offices.  Most of my doctors work for Parkview Hospital which is nice since all of my doctors are connected by the same data base.

Another thing that is unusual is that the hospitals are using interns for doctors.  My primary care doctor is an intern and he goes over everything and writes it up.  Then an experienced doctor comes in and reviews the intern's work.  So I actually get two doctors looking at me.

The office is not crowded since they have a lot of new doctors.  They think that a lot of these interns will stay on after they finish their two years.

It used to be that the wait on doctors took a long time and I could have written some neat stories but no more. 
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.

Robert A. Heinlein

Offline TimWLong

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2014, 02:13:17 PM »
I can't seem to go more than a few hours without jumping on a computer.

A friend of mine writes all of his books, by hand, in his car, while chain smoking. He later types out the books on his PC.

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Offline ellenoc

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2014, 03:16:14 PM »
I wrote my first book on a portable electric typewriter (didn't have a PC of my own at the time). I think I did one more draft that way and then scraped up the $$ for a PC of my own. I do remember that getting the whole thing into the PC was a major chore and something I vowed never to do again.

That said, I was an avid fan of Albert Payson Terhune in my teens and remember reading an autobiography where he said he wrote by hand until writer's cramp was so bad he couldn't hold a pen or pencil. At first he tied a pencil between his fingers and kept going, then he learned to type. When typing became too painful, he learned to dictate. It stuck in my mind all these years as an example of the lengths people will go to when they're determined to do something.

Offline MT Berlyn

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2014, 03:27:43 PM »
@Vrabinec

Quote: Mikey had fallen to the same creature that had taken the Miller girls, Old man Dewey, Squirrel Chop George, and Helico Joe.

Great dark humor.

 8)






Offline Key

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2014, 03:32:48 PM »
I was just reading Lawrence Block yesterday about rewriting, and remembering how difficult it is when you have to type everything over again!  I have done it.  I'm sure I could do it.  But I am so glad we don't have to anymore.  :)


Offline R. K. Clark

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2014, 04:31:22 PM »
I could write as long as I had pencil and paper -- good luck in reading any of it.  I used to buy spiral notebooks and write stories in them turned around because I am a wicked, wicked southpaw.  I still buy little notebooks to write down notes.  My printing is neat, and my cursive can be read by some people.  I print my notes because I have a deal with a friend of mine that she gets my notes when I die (this water tastes funny...).

Ever since I got my first typewriter, I haven't really hand written rough drafts.  When I got my first PC back in the mid 90's, I have not looked back.  I don't think I could be as productive as I am now... well, relatively speaking when it comes to productive.
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Offline MatthewAlanThyer

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2014, 05:09:26 PM »
Yes, but if reduced to pen and paper it would really suck. I've written the better part of my first novel on an iPad (which technically is a computer), but in many ways even this is slower than sitting down with my laptop.

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Offline Carol Davis

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2014, 06:06:35 PM »
I've been through pen and paper, manual typewriter, electric typewriter, word processor, computer...

Being able to write (and revise) on the computer is an incredible gift.  It's invaluable for putting together a polished finished product.  But if for some reason I had no more access to a computer -- of course I'd still write.  If the stories were still in my head, I'd go back to pen and paper if I had to.  I think if being a writer is what you are, you always find a way.

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Offline Kristine McKinley

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2014, 07:05:08 PM »
My first response was no but after reading what some of you have written I think maybe I could. I got a Pilot Plumix fountain pen for Christmas and didn't have my laptop with me so I used it to write up an idea and I loved it. After my pregnancy though my wrists hurt and I'm not sure how long I would be able to write at one time.

Offline chrissponias

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2014, 07:38:39 PM »
Computers make it so easy to write.  It is easy to make changes and move things around.  We can check spelling and reseach on the Internet.  It makes writing a story much easier.

Some of my first short stories were written by hand and were a real struggle.  My hand kept getting tired.  I was talking to my wife about that the other day and she agreed that using a computer is so much easier than using a pen. 

I am not sure that I would continue writing if I had to use a pen or pencil instead of a computer.  I am not talking about jotting down some notes but full time writing.

Could you write without a computer?


Franklin Eddy



You probably are too young. I have already written millions of pages by hand, before the computers' existence.

Of course, today I hate handwriting, but in the past it was not a problem.



Goodness is medicine.
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Offline Rykymus

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2014, 07:50:03 PM »
Of course I could. The question is, would I?

Offline epulsifer

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2014, 12:07:40 PM »
Reckon. Actually prefer legal pads or comp books for my first draft. I don't even put anything on the computer until second draft.

I composed my first published works on a 1930's-vintage Underwood noisemaker. Got it in college for about $20 and loved it. Kept it for another 10 years, and I think it got lost in a move. That was the ultimate writing machine.

Offline Josh_Stallings

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Re: Could you write without a computer?
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2014, 12:18:21 PM »
I started writing on a Olivetti manual typewriter, I loved the tactile feeling.  I wrote much of the first draft of my memoir in a comp book. Buuuut, as a very dyslexic person, I love and adore spell checker.  So although I could write without a computer, it might drive both me and my editor insane.
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