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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would any of you still be an author if you had to use an old-style typewriter instead of a computer? I marvel at the thought of using a typewriter back in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. I think that might have been the death of me! How about you?
 

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I remember in high school refusing to take typing because I didn't want to get pushed into secretarial work. How things have changed!

I learned to type anyway, eventually, and ended up for some years working as a phototypesetter. That was back in the days before disk storage, so if you forgot to turn off the bold for the whole page you had to physically retype the whole thing. We really took for granted that things were done that way, and so we did it.

I actually wrote my first novel out longhand because the typewriter was too intimidating for me. But now I don't know how I'd live without my computer.
 

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Back in the 20s, 30s and 40s?  Dude, typewriters were what most writers used up into the 80s.

And yes, I wrote on one myself.  Typing my first novel up for submission is what convinced me I wanted to buy a computer.

Camille
 

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I typed up my first play on a typewriter. Just like when I drove across the U.S., I valued the experience but I wouldn't do it again.

(And I still write the first draft of anything in longhand!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
daringnovelist said:
Back in the 20s, 30s and 40s? Dude, typewriters were what most writers used up into the 80s.

And yes, I wrote on one myself. Typing my first novel up for submission is what convinced me I wanted to buy a computer.

Camille
Yes, but the latter versions had more bells and whistles to make it a little easier.
 

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Andrew Neudecker said:
Yes, but the latter versions had more bells and whistles to make it a little easier.
Not really. The bells and whistles were more for doing fancier things that a writer doesn't need to do. (Like italics, or switching fonts. And erasable ribbons did not work at all. Dangit, when I was young you retyped the page, or corrected the typo by hand, and we LIKED IT!)

If you were human (and not a cockroach with the soul of a poet*) late typewriters were not much different from early ones. I learned on a tacky little portable manual typewriter, and later had a spiffy electric. The advantage of the electric was that if you WERE a cockroach, it wasn't so hard to dive at the keys to type.

(*If you don't know what I'm talking about, look up Archy and Mehitabel. Wait! Archy and Mehitabel are available for Kindle! Halleiluja! Except it's by Penguin, and overpriced....)

Camille
 

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I started on a typewriter.

First page of Changeling, was typed.  Still have it.  Manual typed at that.

Computers were very expensive, for a very long time, and WP packages were crap.

Computers make you a lazier writer.  But the internetz wins for research, a killion times over.
 

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Andrew Neudecker said:
Would any of you still be an author if you had to use an old-style typewriter instead of a computer? I marvel at the thought of using a typewriter back in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. I think that might have been the death of me! How about you?
Wow, did you just age me or what LOL. I wrote my first three books on an old underwood typewriter, with inked ribbons and carbon paper between two sheets to save retyping it twice. Well, in theory it was supposed to save time, but never did and I think I typed each of those books out twenty times. I graduated to a Brother electronic on my fourth book...treated myself...and *gasp* it had a memory of ten lines so you could go back and correct ten lines of type before it printed. Very chic. Did two books on that then got one that had two whole pages of memory!!!!! Thought I had died and gone to author heaven. I didn't actually get a computer until the late 90's, and to this day, I still write out everything in longhand first. And I can't edit on a computer screen, it has to be a hard copy.

*wanders off, dragging my dinosaur tail in the mud*
 

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I wrote longhand until I bought my slick electric typewriter with auto correct.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I still wrote longhand first though.  Then, when I got my first computer (MAC 512K thank you very much) - I was hooked.  Would I still write if a typewriter was the only option?  Sure would, but I'm glad I don't have to!
 

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"You might want to be sitting down for this. It's time to say your goodbyes, because the world's last remaining typewriter factory, Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai, India, is closing its doors."
PC Mag April 26, 2011

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2384314,00.asp
 

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My mom and dad had a typewriter, but they were also early adopters of computers.  I personally did all my writing longhand in high school, until my mom made me take a typing class not long after I decided I was going to be a writer.
Every since then, I type everything.  Does that age me?  That I remember the switchover?
 

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Woooo...my high school graduation present was an electric typewriter for college. I wrote my first 5 novels (really REALLY bad books, since shredded!) on that puppy.  ;D  Then my husband the computer-geek built our first PC and I've never looked back. Gotta say, the old dot-matrix printers weren't much better than typewriters, either.
 

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I was born in the 80s, so there were little Apple Classics in my kindergarten classroom, but I still refused to draft on the computer until 2006 or so, because I was convinced the ability to delete whatever I wrote would make me stare at a blank screen and never get anything done. (Once I tried it--during my first Nano, in which I used an outline for the first time as well--I was hooked. On both outlines and computer drafts.) I always wrote longhand, though. I could never get the hang of ending the line when the paper ran out on a typewriter. I'd just keep typing and typing and...

Anyway, the answer to your question is yes. I'm sure if typewriters were my only option, I'd sure as heck be using one.
 
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