The Exile Update – In Which Luke Skywalker Runs Out Of Milk

Longhand writing
CC BY 2.0 2012 by R. Crap Mariner


Yet not done.

This thing ended at 65 pages. Obviously, I’m going to have to put more in, but that’s okay. I got the beta reads back on The Amortals, and it actually needs stuff put in. A lot of it is references to the rest of the series that make this hard to pick up. There’s a lot of that in this story, too, particularly references to Tishla. But, as Stuart Smalley used to say, that’s… okay. There are always rewrites. And my publication schedule gives me 6 months to revise The Amortals (actually 4. I have to give this to an edtior, who will have to work a little harder on it), and 7 (5?) to transcribe, rewrite, beta, and revise The Exile. And 8 (6?) to write and revise the next novella, tentatively titled Flight Blade.

The longhand experiment was interesting, but I’m not going to repeat it any time soon. On the upside, I could take the manuscript on my honeymoon and work on it pretty much anywhere. The Surface has to be synced up and have wireless. And I can’t really take it everywhere. My only limitation was the yellow notepad I had. I ran out and got another one.

On the downside, it takes about as long to write a single page by hand as it does to type four. Tomorrow Well, today. I’m writing this Monday evening.) I will begin work on the next “episode” of The Ridge, the follow-up to Holland Bay. (For the uninitiated, Holland Bay is a crime novel sitting on an editor’s desk in New York.) I will likely type four or five double-spaced pages before work. But typing and longhand actually changes how you think when you write. Since it takes longer to get a thought out, you have more time to think ahead. Ever notice when people leave typos in, they usually miss a word or get the wrong tense? It’s because they’re writing faster than they think. Longhand is slower than thought.

But it won’t be my last change in technique. I’ve decided to dictate Flight Blade. Yep. Office 365 has a voice-to-text function, and Siri can do this in its notepad function on the iPhone. I’ve tried dictation before, but this time, it’s to keep the work fresh.