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30 days on writing: Entry #6: The splendor and misery of writing and typing - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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30 days on writing: Entry #6: The splendor and misery of writing and typing [Jul. 27th, 2010|11:11 am]
Young Geoffrey
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More memeage: In this edition, Young Geoffrey remembers his first typewriter and presumes to compare himself to the Beatles twice and William Shakespeare, once.

0. Explain yourself! In which Young Geoffrey explains the meme and his reasons for exploring it.

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about "youngest" and "oldest" in terms of when you created them?

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how "far" are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

17. Favorite protagonist and why!

18. Favorite antagonist and why!

19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story — from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

I do most of my writing, creative and otherwise, at the keyboard. I've been typing since 9th grade, when I elected to take a typing course. I suspect the full-year thing would have been a hideous bore, but six weeks was enough to teach me about the home-row and other basics aspects of the Art, and to force me to do enough practicing that by the time I left that school to move to Toronto, I was probably touch typing 30 or maybe even 40 words per minute. I know clock in at about 70 words per minute according to online typing tests.

Of course, being an ancient Young Geoffrey, I did not learn to type on a computer. Nor even on an electric typewriter, not even within the not-so-ivy walls of the Lockerby Composite School in Sudbury.

No, I learned to type when "pounding out a story" meant one pretty literally pounded or hammered one's keys.

Four or five years ago, during one of my not-so-infrequent bouts with writer's block, I hauled out the portable manual typewriter my maternal grandmother had given me when I was a teenager, the weighty beast I had even taken with me when I hitch-hiked to the West Coast and back lo! these many years ago.

Like the Beatles trying to return to their roots with Let It Be, I thought that returning to mine by forcing myself to use a typewriter rather than my computer's keyboard might kick-start my creative juices, forcing me to re-write everything rather than to lazily cut and paste.

It might even have been a good idea, but — again like the Beatles — I had grown too used to the high-tech production values and so my own personal Phil Spector insisted my fingers were now too weak to type using their own force alone.

I typed about a page and a half, awed that I had once written several drafts of a fucking novel on the beast; the keys were genuinely hard to move, it took a lot of finger-pressure. When I did manage to get a rhythm going, they would invariably jam. And of course, errors could only be either exxed out and re-typed, or else I would have to stop, unstop my bottle of liquid paper, brush it over the offending typo, then weight for the paint to dry before typing over it.

Madness. Imagine William Shakespeare discovering the ball-point pen, then being forced to return to quill and ink-pot.

What was the question?

Oh yes, writing and its comforts.

I do sometimes still write long-hand, but most often only when I am out and having a pint somewhere (which means I almost never do that anymore, being unable to afford pints and have a girl-friend who won't tolerate me having more than 5 bottles of beer in any case (if I do, I spend the night in my own room; beer makes Young Geoffrey snore, apparently). But I digress.

I mostly use pen and paper for editing. I find my habits are atavistic enough that editing on-screen is difficult for me, I have a hard time grokking a piece's — especially a long piece's — gestalt via text on a computer screen.

Otherwise, I can write pretty much anywhere — if the spirit is willing. Though I do prefer to have a desk, with my own papers and reference books handy (even if I seldom refer to the former and almost never to the latter). And time of day is pretty much irrelevent, though it does seem to be a little helpful to my general level of productivity if I start pretty soon after rising from my slumbers.

This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/11834.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.
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