Afternoon, readers! I decided yesterday that it might be an interesting read for you if I was to document a page or two of my writing process. After finishing the article, I decided it’s probably not all that interesting. I mean, who wants to hear me talk about sitting at the typewriter, going “Uh…….”. But then I figured, ah, what the heck. So, here goes.
First, I plunk myself down with a writing tool. It’s usually a typewriter, though sometimes it’s my laptop. On very rare occasions, I’ll use a pen and paper, but this is never a good idea. (my handwriting has stymied some of the best cryptologists in the business)
Here, you can see a new sheet of paper in my portable typewriter. This is where I started yesterday. At the moment this shot was taken, I was sitting there going “Uh……”.
“Maybe if I move upstairs to my electric desktop typewriter, inspiration will hunt me down…..” It seems to have been successful in this case. It isn’t always, though.
After finishing the pages, or page, as it happened to be this morning, I head over to the scanner. Tossing the pages in and scanning them is a lot easier than transcribing the writing manually.
Microsoft Document Imaging and its accompanying OCR (optical character recognition) software are invaluable. Using them means you can just scan in the typewritten pages and then run the OCR, which will then allow you to convert the scan into a Word document. Awesome.
Here I am with my laptop, adding the OCRed (yes, that’s a word) page into the main document. In this case, it’s part of the “Hunter – Eye in the Storm” novel.
As you can see (or not), the OCR software isn’t fool-proof. And believe me, I can fool stuff up. Anyway, between my typewriter mistakes and the software limitations, there ARE a few mistakes to correct, mostly in the spacing and formatting department.
Once I’m done with the corrections, I’ll do a last content check before moving on to the next page of the book. It’s not really editing at this point, more like just replacing awkward phrasing I didn’t feel like erasing while on the typewriter. At the end of the whole thing, you (dear readers) get something like this:
“Wizards have a pretty good array of tricks up their sleeves. For instance floating inst entirely unlikely. Thus, checking for a welcoming party is just the smartest thing to do. I might not get shot by a wizard, but I won’t rule out the possibility of being turn into some fuzzy animal or teleported directly outside…. at the same altitude. Even I can’t survive the falling fifty feet without serious damage.
Collecting from Keenan would be rather difficult in traction, not to mention chasing Pagonis down in the first place. A little caution never hurt anyone. Well, there was this one guy down in Mexico… but that’s not the point.
I reach the door the foot prints disappear under. As far as I can tell, the most recent set is leaving which means the room should be empty. The door creaks lightly as it swings open, but there’s not tremendous explosion or searing flash of light. So far, so good. Some sort of magical alarm might have gone off, but I don’t have any way of knowing.
Not that it matters. If Pagonis does have some esoteric alarm bell, that he’ll be coming in a hurry. Since I want to find him, that suits my purposes just fine.”
Well, that’s all for today, guys. I’m off to do some more writing!