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On the one hand, I have no idea what I will be writing for NaNoWriMo, except that it might involve jellyfish. On the other hand, I have a big pack of blank index cards and have read lots of interesting things about forms of plot structure.
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I’m wondering whether to write my NaNoWriMo this year in fountain pen, as I did last year, or actually type it.

Benefits of the fountain pen:

  1. I enjoy writing with fountain pens.
  2. It really removes the temptation to overly edit, writing by hand. Once it’s there, it’s there. So you just have to get on and write the next sentence, even if the last one was rubbish.
  3. I’m aware that the only NNWM I’ve finished has been the one that I wrote in pen. I’m such an appalling over-editor that, in the past, I’d just spent the whole time tweaking paragraphs and changing the plot.

On the other hand:

  1. If the novel turns out to be any good, it’s much harder to do anything with it if it’s in longhand. You have to then re-type it.
  2. If the novel doesn’t turn out to be any good, but has some good parts - which is far more likely - it becomes a pain to extract the good parts from. You can’t search for them, and you have to type the good parts up once you find them, with the result that you’re less likely to make use of any good parts, in the end.
  3. It’s not as securely archived/backed up as if I’d written it digitally.

I still have last year’s novel on the shelf in a binder, and while I very occasionally look at it when I half-remember an idea that I put in there and want to see what I ended up writing, it’s really not a convenient archiving format.

December 2014

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