Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

Writerly Wednesday: doing things old school.

Written By: Tracy - Dec• 30•09

The holidays were extremely relaxing for me. My dad and step mother know me well enough that they bought me my favorite gift — a gift card to a book store.  They also gave me a snuggie.  it seems a little ironic to me to be reading a book set in a fantasy world while wearing something that looks like a wizard’s robe. 

I failed to post Friday and Monday by design.  I basically turned off the computer and went low-tech during this time by writing long hand with a spiral bound notebook.  (no approximate word count.  Sorry)

This is actually my preferred method for writing.  I can get the quick and dirty draft of my work through the birthing process this way.  And when I say that it is quick and dirty, I really do mean it.  I scribble profusely in a battered notebook with dog-eared pages that I use to seperate out stories, journal thoughts and drafts.  My handwriting is messy and I once had a salesmen in a pen store tell me that I should stay away from fountain pens and rollerballs because I don’t give the ink time to dry.  Even with ball point pens, the ink tends to splotch up. 

But the important part is that It’s legible to me.  I’ve developed a short hand that consists of Journlism editing symbols and footnote style numbers to indicate where I went back and added paragraphs.  

Usually I let these ugly little babies sit in my notebook for a while.  By the time I’m ready to type them, I can think of better ways to rephrase this sentence, or add in an action at that paragraph so that what I end up with is my second draft. 

This is the method that works best for me.  I’d like to hear from those of you who read this (all two or three of you) as to what your preferred method for writing is.  What works best for you?

Also, there is still time to enter the Bride of Tranquility/Yard Dog Press Holiday Promotion.  Buy my book (or any book for that matter) from Yard Dog Press through January 1 and get the chance to win a pretty swanky gift card.  I am an avid reader of the other titles at Yard Dog Press, and I can tell you that every single one of them is good.

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  1. tracy_d74 says:

    I do a mixture. If I’m starting a story, I do my thoughts in a notebook and maybe the first part of the chapter. Then I stay with the computer until I get to chapter 8 or 9. I don’t know why. But the last 4 books I’ve done, 8 or 9 is the turning spot. I start to do quick chapter summaries, write down who’s POV, sketch objects that I know I need to write about later. If I’ve got dialogue in my head for a later chapter, sometimes I will write it in the journal and sometimes I’ll type it. It depends on the time of day. Really. At 3 am I scribble it in notebook. At 6 am I type it. I write character names an backstories and descriptions in journal. Thoughts about themes in my journal. I tend to write on the diagonal or sideways in it. I have a lot of dog ears and highlights, and craziness. It’s my chaotic mess . . . I love it!!

  2. bodgei says:

    I was given a snuggy last year my cats ran off with it.

    I’m gonna add money to my pre paid credit card tomorrow – so I’ll order your book (I know I know I’ve been promising)

    As to first drafts – it kinda depends. Sometimes I write in long hand sometimes directly onto the computor. I have a learning disability so long hand is hard for me – but at the same time it’s very freeing.

  3. The most important thing for me is quiet. I can’t write with music on, or with kids playing in the next room.


    • Tracy says:

      When I write, I can get so focused that you could set an explosion off directly behind me and I wouldn’t hear it. On the other hand, when I write non fiction, If I’m restless, I can get a bit distracted.