Sunday, December 7, 2008

Story Not Included

Before I get to this, I just need to do bit of housekeeping. I just remembered that I never picked a winner for the chap book for Nox Dormienda, that I was giving away to a commenter from my post Hodie Ego sum Centum (Today I am 100). So, without further ado, the winner of the chap book is Stephen D. Rogers. Congratulations Stephen. Could you please e-mail me at with your snail mail so I can get your prize off to you? Now, that that's taken care of, on with the post.

There are certainly a lot of changes going on in the publishing industry, not just with the reorganizing, but also with the technology involved. Today there are e-readers, such as the Kindle from Amazon and print on demand services where anybody with a credit card can pay some money and call themselves published. But there is another thing that has changed in the publishing industy and that's HOW people write. In olden times, it was carvings on a cave wall. In Shakespeare's day it was a feather quill and parchement. Later, pencils and pens, then typewriters and finally word processors. But that too has evolved.

There are now a variety of programs used to assist in writing: From Final Draft for screenplays and stage plays to New Novelist for, well, novels. Many of these programs have features such as automatic formating, character databases, virtual index cards complete with corkboard and push pins and outline modes. Yes, sir. These are loaded with all sorts of neat things. Plus according to the ads, they will help the user write the next big blockbuster or Great American Novel. But you know what? Despite all the bells and whistles these programs have, there's one thing that none of them can do: and that's write the actual story. Listen, it doesn't matter how fancy these wriitng programs are. The story has to come from you. As I said, long before all this fancy technology, books and screenplays were being written. People just used real index cards and corkboards.

As for myself, I do a majority of my writing on a laptop. But when it comes to certain scenes and editing (on hard copy mind you) I rely on the Faber Castell 9000 3B Drawing pencil.

So, how about you all? What do you prefer to write with? Whether you're a writer or not, I'm interested to know.

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