Friday, 10 August 2012

Writing in the Dark Ages

One question I have often asked myself is how I would have survived as a writer before computers.

The way I write is to imagine the scenes in a story, and write a sentence describing each one, then arrange these. I then go through picking the scenes that I am in the mood to write on any given day. When they are all written I get together with my editor and, if we agree on the structure, it gets copy-edited and we're done.

Having a computer means I can write those notes and scenes in the order they happen in the story's internal timeline, and then weave them together to suit the needs of dramatic structure. Having a computer linked to a mobile phone means I can take those notes when ideas occur to me, even when I am out travelling?

So how did writers do it before computers? Well, Joe Haldeman offered a link to a page which gives some insight. Nabokov apparently used index cards. What is more, he used them in the car.

I still prefer my computer, though.