A ‘Computer vs Pen & Paper’ Post

A couple of weeks ago I started writing a story, I’m not sure how it will play out at the moment but I have a very good idea of where its going.  The problem I’ve found though is after six thousand words I’ve found a better way to write this story, or a different angle I should say.  This is exactly what happened with NaNoWriMo.  I started writing, and got stuck, so I did what I had heard a few writers say that they do and that is look at your first sentence and ask yourself “How did I get here?” but what the story evolved and didn’t match up, so I had to write off about ten thousand words (I almost cried).  So with it happening again the other day it made me think about why it didn’t used to happen, and then I sussed it.  It’s because I’m not writing a first draft on paper like I used to which I always considered as my rough draft before the main draft which would be typed up and tweaked as I did so.

I was thinking that I had wasted my time because I am going to have to go back to scratch, well for thirty seconds at least, before I realised that it is by no means wasted because I have written out a lot of the world that the story is set so I’m not going in blind this time round.  In one way its a good little way of planning a story out a little.  I have my three or four primary characters fairly well flushed out and there’s a good feel to the world itself now so I should be able to transfer into the newer draft with ease.

Has anyone else encountered this?  Do your some of your ideas fall flat then when you re-write them they have a totally different feel to them?

5 thoughts on “A ‘Computer vs Pen & Paper’ Post

  1. That happens quite often, Peter. I never start a story and it finishes in the same way as I had intended it to finish 😀 Stories seem to have a life of their own, and they direct our hand over the paper. It is frustrating when we have to write words off, but sometimes it is necessary if we want to write the best stories ever 😀 Just keep on with the good work.


  2. Once my second first-draft (the first first draft was also on paper in longhand like yours) was finished (around 90K words), I decided it didn’t work so well in 1rst person and wanted to change it to 3rd. During the rewrite I found a LOT that didn’t work and the whole first chapter didn’t work. It did feel like a lot of wasted time, but I learned a lot during this process, so I guess in the end it was time spent well enough.


  3. The more that I’ve thought about having to start again with a project I’ve found that I dont think that I’ve wasted my time. Despite knowing that its still hard throwing away words. As you say its time well spent 😀 How long did it take you to do your re-write?


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