Monday, March 19, 2012

Writing is Messy Business

This is not my book,
 this is the Constitution
...also a good read.
I am in the process of typing my handwritten manuscript into the computer.  I have recently discovered that this is Not My Favorite Part.  I wonder if it might have been better to have just typed it all along but, realistically, I know that I am away from my computer too much to have gotten as far as I have if I had relied on the ol' laptop.  Also, with its pathetic lack of a "J" key, and its perpetually sticking spackbar, I think it is entirely possible that I might have demolished it before now.

I have decided that, if this book does well, I am getting a new laptop to help with my future writing endeavors!  (Who am I kidding...first I will get the roof fixed, but someday, SOMEDAY, I am getting a new laptop.  Seriously.)

I have noticed that, during this typing-into-the-computer phase, my book is continuing to grow.  New scenes miraculously find their way into the book.  Bit characters swell into full-fledged characters that suddenly need names and backstories!  I knew that my re-writes would increase my page count, but it does make me wonder if I will have to end up pruning later.   

The funny thing about having the typed pages staring back at me is that, suddenly, it looks more like a Real Book.  No longer is it just my familiar scrawl sprawled across the pages.  Now it looks almost...official.  There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the words all lined up properly.  It is kind of like when the family gets all spruced up for a proper portrait, and everyone is wearing their best clothes and smiling brightly, frozen in time, and you think That's how I knew it could be!  Of course, nothing is really different than it was just a moment before:  Bobby is still annoyed with Suzie and pinched her right before the photo was taken, and Max's pants are too short.  But to the casual viewer Suzie's eyes are bright with happiness, not tears, and the too-short pants don't show in the photo.  All is well.  Only those who were there during the process know The Truth. 

And the truth is Writing is Messy Business!  Deciding to change the point of view and tense is a tedious fix, and I wonder if it will be worth it.  Handwriting the whole blasted thing just to have to turn around and type it all in later makes sense in some ways, but don't remind me of that while I am typing or I might snarl...especially if the spacebar sticks.