Friday, May 22, 2009

Writing with ink and erasers

Tolkien wrote the lion's share of his work in pencil, in standard school notebooks, over which he overwrote in pen, later erasing the pencil. This allowed him, amongst other things, freedom to change the underlying linguistic framework of his stories as he was writing them. This is something a word processor will not allow me to do.

2 comments:

agnieszkasshoes said...

My earliest experience of hearing another writer talk about what they did was when I was 7 and I went to a day run by the local bookshop. There was a workshop by children's ghost writer (ghost stories not celeb bios) Aiden Chambers, who described how he wrote everything in pencil, on alternate lines, to allow editing room. He showed us his exercise books and I remember falling in love with teh PROCESS of writing. These days I use a computer, and I'm always advocating Twitter and wikis and who knows what else, because I believe they're exciting for storytelling, but what I love is still physically writing things down on the page.

piers said...

It's important to share these stories - I remember reading how William Gibson often uses a typewriter, and when he worked with Bruce Sterling on The Difference Engine, they exchanged floppy disks by courier with revisions - times have changed. The stories remain. Cheers!