Pens & Pins—Or How Did Jane Austen Revise A Manuscript?

JAAndrea/Cara here, A number of the Wenches are facing looming deadlines, and among ourselves we’ve been bemoaning the dreaded terror know as “final edits” before shipping a manuscript of to an editor. The process is a lot easier these days—I remember working on my first book with a stack of yellow Post-It notes close at hand . . .and muttering frequent incantations to the cosmos for the stickies to stay put!

So it was with great interest—and delight—that I spotted a fascinating post on the Jane Austen Center website about Jane and the joint project between Oxford and King’s College to create a digital database of all the existing Austen manuscripts, from her early juvenile works to the last year of her life.

Janeaustenpersuasion-tl
“With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies — small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text . . .”



Persuasion compositeShown above is an example of how she edited a section, and the explanation of one of the project experts. Some other examples here show her actual pages with cross-out and additions, along a typed version to show clarify the changes. It’s fun to see, right? But as I read the mission of the project  I was struck by the very thoughtful and fascinating reasons they give for why it’s so important to preserve these handwritten works. (You can read about the project here.)

JaneAustenCassandraWatercolourThey are not only the first creative writing collection of a British author to survive, but they also show her artistic development from childhood to her last unfinished novel. They are, in essence, a writing laboratory, where she experimented with new ideas, struggled with style and narrative, tried different subjects. They give a us a glimpse into the way her imagination worked.

Another point I found intriguing was that scholars and researchers feel that by studying the nuances of handwriting—the size and shape of the letters, the quality of the penmanship—is it rushed or precise Fred and E composite—speak volumes about Jane’s emotional state as she was writing. For example, some sections look as if she’s excited about the drama building. Psychobabble? Maybe, but intriguing nonetheless.

One thing I never knew what that the manuscripts for her eight published novels no longer exist —or have never been found. (Oh, imagine finding P&P at a yard sale!) it’s thought that once they were printed, they were no longer useful—the words were preserved in crisp black and white. Again, scholars lament the loss, wishing they could see the changes she made and get that extra insight into her thought processes.

PandP title pageI sometimes think about that in my own writing. I tend to save and resave a page as I make changes, not wanting to clog up my files with countless drafts. But I sometimes wish I could go back and look over how I got from here to there. Which begs the question—do you find it interesting to look at original manuscripts? And do you write by hand? Keep a journal or a diary? I’ve read that the brain works slightly differently when you take pen in hand. What do you think?

205 thoughts on “Pens & Pins—Or How Did Jane Austen Revise A Manuscript?”

  1. I am not a published author (yet), but I do write (a lot) and I must say that I love writing by hand. In fact the first draft is always by hand in my case – and sometimes I revise the text by rewriting it once or twice by hand before deciding to type it. As I type it, I may make more changes, add stuff or delete sections. Afterwards I reread it and ask a couple of very close friends to read it, too, because I trust them to point out any mistakes or loose ends.
    John Irving, one of my favourite writers, also writes by hand and takes his time editing his manuscripts. He has no deadlines.
    I normally write in Romanian, but I’m considering doing one of my next projects in English, for a change. I’ve got three projects at the moment – still doing some research for two of them.
    1. a historical novel about a Wallachian princess who gets captured and taken to Moldavia in the XVth century – plenty of drama and romance in it + about fity percent of the action really happened and all the main characters are famous historical personalities. Some events take place close to where I live, actually.
    2. an epistolary novel about the life of a (fictitious) Victorian&Edwardian actress – loosely inspired by the lives of Ellen Terry and Lillie Langtry, Rose Leclercq etc
    3. a pseudomedieval romance trilogy (in the sense that these books are not really historical, there are no real kings in it, the setting is not real, but resembling the English countryside, especially Devon – by pseudomedieval I mean… something almost like A Song of Ice and Fire, but without any elements of fantasy: no dragons, no witches… ) – it’s about four couples who fight for happiness against all odds.
    Which of these three projects sounds appealing to you (if any)? I usually write for myself, but if you like any of them, I’ll gladly send it to you when it’s finished. 🙂

    Reply
  2. I am not a published author (yet), but I do write (a lot) and I must say that I love writing by hand. In fact the first draft is always by hand in my case – and sometimes I revise the text by rewriting it once or twice by hand before deciding to type it. As I type it, I may make more changes, add stuff or delete sections. Afterwards I reread it and ask a couple of very close friends to read it, too, because I trust them to point out any mistakes or loose ends.
    John Irving, one of my favourite writers, also writes by hand and takes his time editing his manuscripts. He has no deadlines.
    I normally write in Romanian, but I’m considering doing one of my next projects in English, for a change. I’ve got three projects at the moment – still doing some research for two of them.
    1. a historical novel about a Wallachian princess who gets captured and taken to Moldavia in the XVth century – plenty of drama and romance in it + about fity percent of the action really happened and all the main characters are famous historical personalities. Some events take place close to where I live, actually.
    2. an epistolary novel about the life of a (fictitious) Victorian&Edwardian actress – loosely inspired by the lives of Ellen Terry and Lillie Langtry, Rose Leclercq etc
    3. a pseudomedieval romance trilogy (in the sense that these books are not really historical, there are no real kings in it, the setting is not real, but resembling the English countryside, especially Devon – by pseudomedieval I mean… something almost like A Song of Ice and Fire, but without any elements of fantasy: no dragons, no witches… ) – it’s about four couples who fight for happiness against all odds.
    Which of these three projects sounds appealing to you (if any)? I usually write for myself, but if you like any of them, I’ll gladly send it to you when it’s finished. 🙂

    Reply
  3. I am not a published author (yet), but I do write (a lot) and I must say that I love writing by hand. In fact the first draft is always by hand in my case – and sometimes I revise the text by rewriting it once or twice by hand before deciding to type it. As I type it, I may make more changes, add stuff or delete sections. Afterwards I reread it and ask a couple of very close friends to read it, too, because I trust them to point out any mistakes or loose ends.
    John Irving, one of my favourite writers, also writes by hand and takes his time editing his manuscripts. He has no deadlines.
    I normally write in Romanian, but I’m considering doing one of my next projects in English, for a change. I’ve got three projects at the moment – still doing some research for two of them.
    1. a historical novel about a Wallachian princess who gets captured and taken to Moldavia in the XVth century – plenty of drama and romance in it + about fity percent of the action really happened and all the main characters are famous historical personalities. Some events take place close to where I live, actually.
    2. an epistolary novel about the life of a (fictitious) Victorian&Edwardian actress – loosely inspired by the lives of Ellen Terry and Lillie Langtry, Rose Leclercq etc
    3. a pseudomedieval romance trilogy (in the sense that these books are not really historical, there are no real kings in it, the setting is not real, but resembling the English countryside, especially Devon – by pseudomedieval I mean… something almost like A Song of Ice and Fire, but without any elements of fantasy: no dragons, no witches… ) – it’s about four couples who fight for happiness against all odds.
    Which of these three projects sounds appealing to you (if any)? I usually write for myself, but if you like any of them, I’ll gladly send it to you when it’s finished. 🙂

    Reply
  4. I am not a published author (yet), but I do write (a lot) and I must say that I love writing by hand. In fact the first draft is always by hand in my case – and sometimes I revise the text by rewriting it once or twice by hand before deciding to type it. As I type it, I may make more changes, add stuff or delete sections. Afterwards I reread it and ask a couple of very close friends to read it, too, because I trust them to point out any mistakes or loose ends.
    John Irving, one of my favourite writers, also writes by hand and takes his time editing his manuscripts. He has no deadlines.
    I normally write in Romanian, but I’m considering doing one of my next projects in English, for a change. I’ve got three projects at the moment – still doing some research for two of them.
    1. a historical novel about a Wallachian princess who gets captured and taken to Moldavia in the XVth century – plenty of drama and romance in it + about fity percent of the action really happened and all the main characters are famous historical personalities. Some events take place close to where I live, actually.
    2. an epistolary novel about the life of a (fictitious) Victorian&Edwardian actress – loosely inspired by the lives of Ellen Terry and Lillie Langtry, Rose Leclercq etc
    3. a pseudomedieval romance trilogy (in the sense that these books are not really historical, there are no real kings in it, the setting is not real, but resembling the English countryside, especially Devon – by pseudomedieval I mean… something almost like A Song of Ice and Fire, but without any elements of fantasy: no dragons, no witches… ) – it’s about four couples who fight for happiness against all odds.
    Which of these three projects sounds appealing to you (if any)? I usually write for myself, but if you like any of them, I’ll gladly send it to you when it’s finished. 🙂

    Reply
  5. I am not a published author (yet), but I do write (a lot) and I must say that I love writing by hand. In fact the first draft is always by hand in my case – and sometimes I revise the text by rewriting it once or twice by hand before deciding to type it. As I type it, I may make more changes, add stuff or delete sections. Afterwards I reread it and ask a couple of very close friends to read it, too, because I trust them to point out any mistakes or loose ends.
    John Irving, one of my favourite writers, also writes by hand and takes his time editing his manuscripts. He has no deadlines.
    I normally write in Romanian, but I’m considering doing one of my next projects in English, for a change. I’ve got three projects at the moment – still doing some research for two of them.
    1. a historical novel about a Wallachian princess who gets captured and taken to Moldavia in the XVth century – plenty of drama and romance in it + about fity percent of the action really happened and all the main characters are famous historical personalities. Some events take place close to where I live, actually.
    2. an epistolary novel about the life of a (fictitious) Victorian&Edwardian actress – loosely inspired by the lives of Ellen Terry and Lillie Langtry, Rose Leclercq etc
    3. a pseudomedieval romance trilogy (in the sense that these books are not really historical, there are no real kings in it, the setting is not real, but resembling the English countryside, especially Devon – by pseudomedieval I mean… something almost like A Song of Ice and Fire, but without any elements of fantasy: no dragons, no witches… ) – it’s about four couples who fight for happiness against all odds.
    Which of these three projects sounds appealing to you (if any)? I usually write for myself, but if you like any of them, I’ll gladly send it to you when it’s finished. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Send ‘them’ to you. :p See, I’m already editing.
    And I am interested in looking at original manuscripts. Handwriting really shows a lot about the writer’s personality and state of mind. It’s really interesting to analyse one’s thinking process.

    Reply
  7. Send ‘them’ to you. :p See, I’m already editing.
    And I am interested in looking at original manuscripts. Handwriting really shows a lot about the writer’s personality and state of mind. It’s really interesting to analyse one’s thinking process.

    Reply
  8. Send ‘them’ to you. :p See, I’m already editing.
    And I am interested in looking at original manuscripts. Handwriting really shows a lot about the writer’s personality and state of mind. It’s really interesting to analyse one’s thinking process.

    Reply
  9. Send ‘them’ to you. :p See, I’m already editing.
    And I am interested in looking at original manuscripts. Handwriting really shows a lot about the writer’s personality and state of mind. It’s really interesting to analyse one’s thinking process.

    Reply
  10. Send ‘them’ to you. :p See, I’m already editing.
    And I am interested in looking at original manuscripts. Handwriting really shows a lot about the writer’s personality and state of mind. It’s really interesting to analyse one’s thinking process.

    Reply
  11. Oh, it seems I’m writing too much again 🙁 – mea culpa
    I’d like to add something about Jane Austen. I was 15 when I read Pride and Prejudice in English. It was the first time I read an entire novel in English and it hooked me. I am really fond of Lizzie (and her father). Having read all Miss Austen’s books since, I can still say that Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Oh, it seems I’m writing too much again 🙁 – mea culpa
    I’d like to add something about Jane Austen. I was 15 when I read Pride and Prejudice in English. It was the first time I read an entire novel in English and it hooked me. I am really fond of Lizzie (and her father). Having read all Miss Austen’s books since, I can still say that Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Oh, it seems I’m writing too much again 🙁 – mea culpa
    I’d like to add something about Jane Austen. I was 15 when I read Pride and Prejudice in English. It was the first time I read an entire novel in English and it hooked me. I am really fond of Lizzie (and her father). Having read all Miss Austen’s books since, I can still say that Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Oh, it seems I’m writing too much again 🙁 – mea culpa
    I’d like to add something about Jane Austen. I was 15 when I read Pride and Prejudice in English. It was the first time I read an entire novel in English and it hooked me. I am really fond of Lizzie (and her father). Having read all Miss Austen’s books since, I can still say that Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Oh, it seems I’m writing too much again 🙁 – mea culpa
    I’d like to add something about Jane Austen. I was 15 when I read Pride and Prejudice in English. It was the first time I read an entire novel in English and it hooked me. I am really fond of Lizzie (and her father). Having read all Miss Austen’s books since, I can still say that Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. 🙂

    Reply
  16. During summer vacation back when I was in high school, I wrote my first romantic tale on an ancient manual typewriter. (It had survived because my family never threw out anything that might be useful someday.) Triple spaced to leave room for corrections.
    Today, I am very grateful for the ease of editing on a computer, though when I’m doing major revisions, I hang on to all the versions.
    The only time i write in longhand is when I’m playing with new ideas, or making little charts to figure out family trees and who had to be where when. This is generally done in the evening with a glass of wine to hand. I don’t know if that helps or not.

    Reply
  17. During summer vacation back when I was in high school, I wrote my first romantic tale on an ancient manual typewriter. (It had survived because my family never threw out anything that might be useful someday.) Triple spaced to leave room for corrections.
    Today, I am very grateful for the ease of editing on a computer, though when I’m doing major revisions, I hang on to all the versions.
    The only time i write in longhand is when I’m playing with new ideas, or making little charts to figure out family trees and who had to be where when. This is generally done in the evening with a glass of wine to hand. I don’t know if that helps or not.

    Reply
  18. During summer vacation back when I was in high school, I wrote my first romantic tale on an ancient manual typewriter. (It had survived because my family never threw out anything that might be useful someday.) Triple spaced to leave room for corrections.
    Today, I am very grateful for the ease of editing on a computer, though when I’m doing major revisions, I hang on to all the versions.
    The only time i write in longhand is when I’m playing with new ideas, or making little charts to figure out family trees and who had to be where when. This is generally done in the evening with a glass of wine to hand. I don’t know if that helps or not.

    Reply
  19. During summer vacation back when I was in high school, I wrote my first romantic tale on an ancient manual typewriter. (It had survived because my family never threw out anything that might be useful someday.) Triple spaced to leave room for corrections.
    Today, I am very grateful for the ease of editing on a computer, though when I’m doing major revisions, I hang on to all the versions.
    The only time i write in longhand is when I’m playing with new ideas, or making little charts to figure out family trees and who had to be where when. This is generally done in the evening with a glass of wine to hand. I don’t know if that helps or not.

    Reply
  20. During summer vacation back when I was in high school, I wrote my first romantic tale on an ancient manual typewriter. (It had survived because my family never threw out anything that might be useful someday.) Triple spaced to leave room for corrections.
    Today, I am very grateful for the ease of editing on a computer, though when I’m doing major revisions, I hang on to all the versions.
    The only time i write in longhand is when I’m playing with new ideas, or making little charts to figure out family trees and who had to be where when. This is generally done in the evening with a glass of wine to hand. I don’t know if that helps or not.

    Reply
  21. LOL on the family packrats. How fortunate, and fun to have! I love the idea of writing by hand, but like you, I do so much fussing with paragraphs as I write that a computer is a godsend. However, I do think the studies are right, and the brain processes things a little different when one actually uses a pen, so am trying to experiment by doing short sections with paper and pen.

    Reply
  22. LOL on the family packrats. How fortunate, and fun to have! I love the idea of writing by hand, but like you, I do so much fussing with paragraphs as I write that a computer is a godsend. However, I do think the studies are right, and the brain processes things a little different when one actually uses a pen, so am trying to experiment by doing short sections with paper and pen.

    Reply
  23. LOL on the family packrats. How fortunate, and fun to have! I love the idea of writing by hand, but like you, I do so much fussing with paragraphs as I write that a computer is a godsend. However, I do think the studies are right, and the brain processes things a little different when one actually uses a pen, so am trying to experiment by doing short sections with paper and pen.

    Reply
  24. LOL on the family packrats. How fortunate, and fun to have! I love the idea of writing by hand, but like you, I do so much fussing with paragraphs as I write that a computer is a godsend. However, I do think the studies are right, and the brain processes things a little different when one actually uses a pen, so am trying to experiment by doing short sections with paper and pen.

    Reply
  25. LOL on the family packrats. How fortunate, and fun to have! I love the idea of writing by hand, but like you, I do so much fussing with paragraphs as I write that a computer is a godsend. However, I do think the studies are right, and the brain processes things a little different when one actually uses a pen, so am trying to experiment by doing short sections with paper and pen.

    Reply
  26. I stopped writing by hand when I was no longer able to read my own handwriting. But, I still edit. Using a computer program makes it much easier, but the editing is not as difficult as creating the original ideas. I think it is wonderful to see that Ms Austen, just as a normal human being would, must rethink exactly how to express her ideas. As wonderful as it might be to read her original manuscripts, I personally would prefer to sit and talk and share a cup of tea and listen to her. Now that would be wonderful!

    Reply
  27. I stopped writing by hand when I was no longer able to read my own handwriting. But, I still edit. Using a computer program makes it much easier, but the editing is not as difficult as creating the original ideas. I think it is wonderful to see that Ms Austen, just as a normal human being would, must rethink exactly how to express her ideas. As wonderful as it might be to read her original manuscripts, I personally would prefer to sit and talk and share a cup of tea and listen to her. Now that would be wonderful!

    Reply
  28. I stopped writing by hand when I was no longer able to read my own handwriting. But, I still edit. Using a computer program makes it much easier, but the editing is not as difficult as creating the original ideas. I think it is wonderful to see that Ms Austen, just as a normal human being would, must rethink exactly how to express her ideas. As wonderful as it might be to read her original manuscripts, I personally would prefer to sit and talk and share a cup of tea and listen to her. Now that would be wonderful!

    Reply
  29. I stopped writing by hand when I was no longer able to read my own handwriting. But, I still edit. Using a computer program makes it much easier, but the editing is not as difficult as creating the original ideas. I think it is wonderful to see that Ms Austen, just as a normal human being would, must rethink exactly how to express her ideas. As wonderful as it might be to read her original manuscripts, I personally would prefer to sit and talk and share a cup of tea and listen to her. Now that would be wonderful!

    Reply
  30. I stopped writing by hand when I was no longer able to read my own handwriting. But, I still edit. Using a computer program makes it much easier, but the editing is not as difficult as creating the original ideas. I think it is wonderful to see that Ms Austen, just as a normal human being would, must rethink exactly how to express her ideas. As wonderful as it might be to read her original manuscripts, I personally would prefer to sit and talk and share a cup of tea and listen to her. Now that would be wonderful!

    Reply
  31. I write comments like this directly on the computer. But when I am struggling with ideas I work with a pencil and a pad of paper. I am a copy-editor (retired) and my brain edits even as I write, so my pad and paper are frequently less than legible by the time I finish that first draft. So I turn quickly to the computer, where erasures and insertions are much easier to handle.
    I cannot write fiction — Oana-Maria’s suggested works astound me. I AM beginning to work on a family narrative covering the genealogy which has been reasonably well researched so far. This is narrative-style, but sticking to facts and to clearly labeled speculation and clearly labeled “memoirs” as told to me by older family members. “Just the facts, ma’am.” I hope that i will be able to make this interesting.

    Reply
  32. I write comments like this directly on the computer. But when I am struggling with ideas I work with a pencil and a pad of paper. I am a copy-editor (retired) and my brain edits even as I write, so my pad and paper are frequently less than legible by the time I finish that first draft. So I turn quickly to the computer, where erasures and insertions are much easier to handle.
    I cannot write fiction — Oana-Maria’s suggested works astound me. I AM beginning to work on a family narrative covering the genealogy which has been reasonably well researched so far. This is narrative-style, but sticking to facts and to clearly labeled speculation and clearly labeled “memoirs” as told to me by older family members. “Just the facts, ma’am.” I hope that i will be able to make this interesting.

    Reply
  33. I write comments like this directly on the computer. But when I am struggling with ideas I work with a pencil and a pad of paper. I am a copy-editor (retired) and my brain edits even as I write, so my pad and paper are frequently less than legible by the time I finish that first draft. So I turn quickly to the computer, where erasures and insertions are much easier to handle.
    I cannot write fiction — Oana-Maria’s suggested works astound me. I AM beginning to work on a family narrative covering the genealogy which has been reasonably well researched so far. This is narrative-style, but sticking to facts and to clearly labeled speculation and clearly labeled “memoirs” as told to me by older family members. “Just the facts, ma’am.” I hope that i will be able to make this interesting.

    Reply
  34. I write comments like this directly on the computer. But when I am struggling with ideas I work with a pencil and a pad of paper. I am a copy-editor (retired) and my brain edits even as I write, so my pad and paper are frequently less than legible by the time I finish that first draft. So I turn quickly to the computer, where erasures and insertions are much easier to handle.
    I cannot write fiction — Oana-Maria’s suggested works astound me. I AM beginning to work on a family narrative covering the genealogy which has been reasonably well researched so far. This is narrative-style, but sticking to facts and to clearly labeled speculation and clearly labeled “memoirs” as told to me by older family members. “Just the facts, ma’am.” I hope that i will be able to make this interesting.

    Reply
  35. I write comments like this directly on the computer. But when I am struggling with ideas I work with a pencil and a pad of paper. I am a copy-editor (retired) and my brain edits even as I write, so my pad and paper are frequently less than legible by the time I finish that first draft. So I turn quickly to the computer, where erasures and insertions are much easier to handle.
    I cannot write fiction — Oana-Maria’s suggested works astound me. I AM beginning to work on a family narrative covering the genealogy which has been reasonably well researched so far. This is narrative-style, but sticking to facts and to clearly labeled speculation and clearly labeled “memoirs” as told to me by older family members. “Just the facts, ma’am.” I hope that i will be able to make this interesting.

    Reply
  36. Oh, LOL on reading one’s own handwriting. That’s another reason I’m reluctant to trust myself with pen and paper.
    And yes, isn’t it fun to see even Jane crossed out and reworked her prose. I’d really love to see the original of P&P—but as you say, sitting down to a cup of tea and talking writing would be far more amazing. Perhaps there is a Gunter’s somewhere in the cosmos reserved for writers and readers!

    Reply
  37. Oh, LOL on reading one’s own handwriting. That’s another reason I’m reluctant to trust myself with pen and paper.
    And yes, isn’t it fun to see even Jane crossed out and reworked her prose. I’d really love to see the original of P&P—but as you say, sitting down to a cup of tea and talking writing would be far more amazing. Perhaps there is a Gunter’s somewhere in the cosmos reserved for writers and readers!

    Reply
  38. Oh, LOL on reading one’s own handwriting. That’s another reason I’m reluctant to trust myself with pen and paper.
    And yes, isn’t it fun to see even Jane crossed out and reworked her prose. I’d really love to see the original of P&P—but as you say, sitting down to a cup of tea and talking writing would be far more amazing. Perhaps there is a Gunter’s somewhere in the cosmos reserved for writers and readers!

    Reply
  39. Oh, LOL on reading one’s own handwriting. That’s another reason I’m reluctant to trust myself with pen and paper.
    And yes, isn’t it fun to see even Jane crossed out and reworked her prose. I’d really love to see the original of P&P—but as you say, sitting down to a cup of tea and talking writing would be far more amazing. Perhaps there is a Gunter’s somewhere in the cosmos reserved for writers and readers!

    Reply
  40. Oh, LOL on reading one’s own handwriting. That’s another reason I’m reluctant to trust myself with pen and paper.
    And yes, isn’t it fun to see even Jane crossed out and reworked her prose. I’d really love to see the original of P&P—but as you say, sitting down to a cup of tea and talking writing would be far more amazing. Perhaps there is a Gunter’s somewhere in the cosmos reserved for writers and readers!

    Reply
  41. Thank you. 🙂
    Well, I’m supposed to be good at it. I’ve got a degree in Spanish and English (literature-major) and I teach English for a living.
    So… Of the three projects, what’s your favourite? 🙂

    Reply
  42. Thank you. 🙂
    Well, I’m supposed to be good at it. I’ve got a degree in Spanish and English (literature-major) and I teach English for a living.
    So… Of the three projects, what’s your favourite? 🙂

    Reply
  43. Thank you. 🙂
    Well, I’m supposed to be good at it. I’ve got a degree in Spanish and English (literature-major) and I teach English for a living.
    So… Of the three projects, what’s your favourite? 🙂

    Reply
  44. Thank you. 🙂
    Well, I’m supposed to be good at it. I’ve got a degree in Spanish and English (literature-major) and I teach English for a living.
    So… Of the three projects, what’s your favourite? 🙂

    Reply
  45. Thank you. 🙂
    Well, I’m supposed to be good at it. I’ve got a degree in Spanish and English (literature-major) and I teach English for a living.
    So… Of the three projects, what’s your favourite? 🙂

    Reply
  46. I hope you won’t mind my asking if my projects strike you as too ambitious. I don’t have a deadline. I want to write them because they are stories which have grown on me in time and somehow need to be told. Writing helps me find inner equilibrium and my friends usually enjoy my novels. I’m curious to see if there could be a larger public for them and if they’re worth struggling to have them published. You must have noticed my projects are quite different – all of them have elements of romance and drama, but they vary from well documented historical novels to… something pretty close to fantasy. Which one would you find appealing? Judging by what you’re writing yourself, I’d say the one about the actress, yet you may also like something different from what you’re writing, something relaxing or simply… exotic? :p
    Please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Reply
  47. I hope you won’t mind my asking if my projects strike you as too ambitious. I don’t have a deadline. I want to write them because they are stories which have grown on me in time and somehow need to be told. Writing helps me find inner equilibrium and my friends usually enjoy my novels. I’m curious to see if there could be a larger public for them and if they’re worth struggling to have them published. You must have noticed my projects are quite different – all of them have elements of romance and drama, but they vary from well documented historical novels to… something pretty close to fantasy. Which one would you find appealing? Judging by what you’re writing yourself, I’d say the one about the actress, yet you may also like something different from what you’re writing, something relaxing or simply… exotic? :p
    Please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Reply
  48. I hope you won’t mind my asking if my projects strike you as too ambitious. I don’t have a deadline. I want to write them because they are stories which have grown on me in time and somehow need to be told. Writing helps me find inner equilibrium and my friends usually enjoy my novels. I’m curious to see if there could be a larger public for them and if they’re worth struggling to have them published. You must have noticed my projects are quite different – all of them have elements of romance and drama, but they vary from well documented historical novels to… something pretty close to fantasy. Which one would you find appealing? Judging by what you’re writing yourself, I’d say the one about the actress, yet you may also like something different from what you’re writing, something relaxing or simply… exotic? :p
    Please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Reply
  49. I hope you won’t mind my asking if my projects strike you as too ambitious. I don’t have a deadline. I want to write them because they are stories which have grown on me in time and somehow need to be told. Writing helps me find inner equilibrium and my friends usually enjoy my novels. I’m curious to see if there could be a larger public for them and if they’re worth struggling to have them published. You must have noticed my projects are quite different – all of them have elements of romance and drama, but they vary from well documented historical novels to… something pretty close to fantasy. Which one would you find appealing? Judging by what you’re writing yourself, I’d say the one about the actress, yet you may also like something different from what you’re writing, something relaxing or simply… exotic? :p
    Please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Reply
  50. I hope you won’t mind my asking if my projects strike you as too ambitious. I don’t have a deadline. I want to write them because they are stories which have grown on me in time and somehow need to be told. Writing helps me find inner equilibrium and my friends usually enjoy my novels. I’m curious to see if there could be a larger public for them and if they’re worth struggling to have them published. You must have noticed my projects are quite different – all of them have elements of romance and drama, but they vary from well documented historical novels to… something pretty close to fantasy. Which one would you find appealing? Judging by what you’re writing yourself, I’d say the one about the actress, yet you may also like something different from what you’re writing, something relaxing or simply… exotic? :p
    Please let me know what you think. 🙂

    Reply
  51. Sue, with your copy editor training, I’ll bet your pages are way cleaner than mine! I swear, one sentence takes me a notebook page to get right. It’s not a pretty sight!
    Your genealogy project sounds wonderful, and I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And I don’t buy for a second that you can’t write fiction! Your posts are always beautifully written, and you’re such a avid reader that I can’t imagine you don’t have story ideas swirling inside your head. It’s never too late to try!

    Reply
  52. Sue, with your copy editor training, I’ll bet your pages are way cleaner than mine! I swear, one sentence takes me a notebook page to get right. It’s not a pretty sight!
    Your genealogy project sounds wonderful, and I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And I don’t buy for a second that you can’t write fiction! Your posts are always beautifully written, and you’re such a avid reader that I can’t imagine you don’t have story ideas swirling inside your head. It’s never too late to try!

    Reply
  53. Sue, with your copy editor training, I’ll bet your pages are way cleaner than mine! I swear, one sentence takes me a notebook page to get right. It’s not a pretty sight!
    Your genealogy project sounds wonderful, and I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And I don’t buy for a second that you can’t write fiction! Your posts are always beautifully written, and you’re such a avid reader that I can’t imagine you don’t have story ideas swirling inside your head. It’s never too late to try!

    Reply
  54. Sue, with your copy editor training, I’ll bet your pages are way cleaner than mine! I swear, one sentence takes me a notebook page to get right. It’s not a pretty sight!
    Your genealogy project sounds wonderful, and I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And I don’t buy for a second that you can’t write fiction! Your posts are always beautifully written, and you’re such a avid reader that I can’t imagine you don’t have story ideas swirling inside your head. It’s never too late to try!

    Reply
  55. Sue, with your copy editor training, I’ll bet your pages are way cleaner than mine! I swear, one sentence takes me a notebook page to get right. It’s not a pretty sight!
    Your genealogy project sounds wonderful, and I’m sure you’ll do a fabulous job. And I don’t buy for a second that you can’t write fiction! Your posts are always beautifully written, and you’re such a avid reader that I can’t imagine you don’t have story ideas swirling inside your head. It’s never too late to try!

    Reply
  56. Oana-Maria, I don’t think any projects are too ambitious if you’re writing from the heart. Writing is challenging, but I understand exactly what you mean about giving you an inner equilibrium. I think all of us write because . . .well, because we can’t imagine not writing!
    All your projects sound fascinating. I have to stay, I’m very intrigued by the Wallachian princess. The time and setting sound fascinating.
    Good luck with all of them!

    Reply
  57. Oana-Maria, I don’t think any projects are too ambitious if you’re writing from the heart. Writing is challenging, but I understand exactly what you mean about giving you an inner equilibrium. I think all of us write because . . .well, because we can’t imagine not writing!
    All your projects sound fascinating. I have to stay, I’m very intrigued by the Wallachian princess. The time and setting sound fascinating.
    Good luck with all of them!

    Reply
  58. Oana-Maria, I don’t think any projects are too ambitious if you’re writing from the heart. Writing is challenging, but I understand exactly what you mean about giving you an inner equilibrium. I think all of us write because . . .well, because we can’t imagine not writing!
    All your projects sound fascinating. I have to stay, I’m very intrigued by the Wallachian princess. The time and setting sound fascinating.
    Good luck with all of them!

    Reply
  59. Oana-Maria, I don’t think any projects are too ambitious if you’re writing from the heart. Writing is challenging, but I understand exactly what you mean about giving you an inner equilibrium. I think all of us write because . . .well, because we can’t imagine not writing!
    All your projects sound fascinating. I have to stay, I’m very intrigued by the Wallachian princess. The time and setting sound fascinating.
    Good luck with all of them!

    Reply
  60. Oana-Maria, I don’t think any projects are too ambitious if you’re writing from the heart. Writing is challenging, but I understand exactly what you mean about giving you an inner equilibrium. I think all of us write because . . .well, because we can’t imagine not writing!
    All your projects sound fascinating. I have to stay, I’m very intrigued by the Wallachian princess. The time and setting sound fascinating.
    Good luck with all of them!

    Reply
  61. You must have heard of Vlad the Impaler, known as Dragulea, Draculea or Dracula, ruler of Wallachia (not Transylvania :p). The princess was his niece. The story begins in November 1473 in Bucuresti (Bucharest), but the girl is soon taken to Moldavia (where I live). I don’t want to give you too many details right now – not even her name, because then you could google her up and see what happens :p (wikispoiler)

    Reply
  62. You must have heard of Vlad the Impaler, known as Dragulea, Draculea or Dracula, ruler of Wallachia (not Transylvania :p). The princess was his niece. The story begins in November 1473 in Bucuresti (Bucharest), but the girl is soon taken to Moldavia (where I live). I don’t want to give you too many details right now – not even her name, because then you could google her up and see what happens :p (wikispoiler)

    Reply
  63. You must have heard of Vlad the Impaler, known as Dragulea, Draculea or Dracula, ruler of Wallachia (not Transylvania :p). The princess was his niece. The story begins in November 1473 in Bucuresti (Bucharest), but the girl is soon taken to Moldavia (where I live). I don’t want to give you too many details right now – not even her name, because then you could google her up and see what happens :p (wikispoiler)

    Reply
  64. You must have heard of Vlad the Impaler, known as Dragulea, Draculea or Dracula, ruler of Wallachia (not Transylvania :p). The princess was his niece. The story begins in November 1473 in Bucuresti (Bucharest), but the girl is soon taken to Moldavia (where I live). I don’t want to give you too many details right now – not even her name, because then you could google her up and see what happens :p (wikispoiler)

    Reply
  65. You must have heard of Vlad the Impaler, known as Dragulea, Draculea or Dracula, ruler of Wallachia (not Transylvania :p). The princess was his niece. The story begins in November 1473 in Bucuresti (Bucharest), but the girl is soon taken to Moldavia (where I live). I don’t want to give you too many details right now – not even her name, because then you could google her up and see what happens :p (wikispoiler)

    Reply
  66. On the importance of writing by hand—I know the map of South America not because I have any great interest in South America or have ever been there but because in the sixth grade we had to draw that map. Freehand and without tracing. Writing or drawing by hand fixes things in your brain the way nothing else does.

    Reply
  67. On the importance of writing by hand—I know the map of South America not because I have any great interest in South America or have ever been there but because in the sixth grade we had to draw that map. Freehand and without tracing. Writing or drawing by hand fixes things in your brain the way nothing else does.

    Reply
  68. On the importance of writing by hand—I know the map of South America not because I have any great interest in South America or have ever been there but because in the sixth grade we had to draw that map. Freehand and without tracing. Writing or drawing by hand fixes things in your brain the way nothing else does.

    Reply
  69. On the importance of writing by hand—I know the map of South America not because I have any great interest in South America or have ever been there but because in the sixth grade we had to draw that map. Freehand and without tracing. Writing or drawing by hand fixes things in your brain the way nothing else does.

    Reply
  70. On the importance of writing by hand—I know the map of South America not because I have any great interest in South America or have ever been there but because in the sixth grade we had to draw that map. Freehand and without tracing. Writing or drawing by hand fixes things in your brain the way nothing else does.

    Reply
  71. So true, Lillian. In graphic design at grad school, they made use draw letterforms by hand—and they had to be perfect! I swear, I worked on the letter “a” for a month. But it does teach you to appreciate the nuances of form. It’s a very good exercise.

    Reply
  72. So true, Lillian. In graphic design at grad school, they made use draw letterforms by hand—and they had to be perfect! I swear, I worked on the letter “a” for a month. But it does teach you to appreciate the nuances of form. It’s a very good exercise.

    Reply
  73. So true, Lillian. In graphic design at grad school, they made use draw letterforms by hand—and they had to be perfect! I swear, I worked on the letter “a” for a month. But it does teach you to appreciate the nuances of form. It’s a very good exercise.

    Reply
  74. So true, Lillian. In graphic design at grad school, they made use draw letterforms by hand—and they had to be perfect! I swear, I worked on the letter “a” for a month. But it does teach you to appreciate the nuances of form. It’s a very good exercise.

    Reply
  75. So true, Lillian. In graphic design at grad school, they made use draw letterforms by hand—and they had to be perfect! I swear, I worked on the letter “a” for a month. But it does teach you to appreciate the nuances of form. It’s a very good exercise.

    Reply
  76. No sexy vampires in the story. :p
    The good thing is that the Moldavians were really handsome. 😉 Imagine being a 16-year-old girl captured by Moldavian hotties =))
    Try elearning.masterprof.ro/lectiile/istorie/lectie_08/index.html (I hope I got it right.)

    Reply
  77. No sexy vampires in the story. :p
    The good thing is that the Moldavians were really handsome. 😉 Imagine being a 16-year-old girl captured by Moldavian hotties =))
    Try elearning.masterprof.ro/lectiile/istorie/lectie_08/index.html (I hope I got it right.)

    Reply
  78. No sexy vampires in the story. :p
    The good thing is that the Moldavians were really handsome. 😉 Imagine being a 16-year-old girl captured by Moldavian hotties =))
    Try elearning.masterprof.ro/lectiile/istorie/lectie_08/index.html (I hope I got it right.)

    Reply
  79. No sexy vampires in the story. :p
    The good thing is that the Moldavians were really handsome. 😉 Imagine being a 16-year-old girl captured by Moldavian hotties =))
    Try elearning.masterprof.ro/lectiile/istorie/lectie_08/index.html (I hope I got it right.)

    Reply
  80. No sexy vampires in the story. :p
    The good thing is that the Moldavians were really handsome. 😉 Imagine being a 16-year-old girl captured by Moldavian hotties =))
    Try elearning.masterprof.ro/lectiile/istorie/lectie_08/index.html (I hope I got it right.)

    Reply
  81. Sue, I’m working on exactly the same sort of project, writing up the results of my genealogical research for various branches of my family. I use the computer to compose and sometimes to edit. But I often print a draft and correct with red pen. I can see the mistakes better on a paper page, I think. The whole exercise has strengthened my research as well, by making me check my facts and sources very carefully before putting them down on paper!

    Reply
  82. Sue, I’m working on exactly the same sort of project, writing up the results of my genealogical research for various branches of my family. I use the computer to compose and sometimes to edit. But I often print a draft and correct with red pen. I can see the mistakes better on a paper page, I think. The whole exercise has strengthened my research as well, by making me check my facts and sources very carefully before putting them down on paper!

    Reply
  83. Sue, I’m working on exactly the same sort of project, writing up the results of my genealogical research for various branches of my family. I use the computer to compose and sometimes to edit. But I often print a draft and correct with red pen. I can see the mistakes better on a paper page, I think. The whole exercise has strengthened my research as well, by making me check my facts and sources very carefully before putting them down on paper!

    Reply
  84. Sue, I’m working on exactly the same sort of project, writing up the results of my genealogical research for various branches of my family. I use the computer to compose and sometimes to edit. But I often print a draft and correct with red pen. I can see the mistakes better on a paper page, I think. The whole exercise has strengthened my research as well, by making me check my facts and sources very carefully before putting them down on paper!

    Reply
  85. Sue, I’m working on exactly the same sort of project, writing up the results of my genealogical research for various branches of my family. I use the computer to compose and sometimes to edit. But I often print a draft and correct with red pen. I can see the mistakes better on a paper page, I think. The whole exercise has strengthened my research as well, by making me check my facts and sources very carefully before putting them down on paper!

    Reply
  86. I rewrite more than I finish and have paper copies from note books all the way to multiple tries on the computer. One of my children had a learning disability that had him writing papers without whole classes of words such as verbs. yes, sentences that were perfect in all ways except missing verbs.- very odd We bought our first computer to help him with the rewrites as it was difficult to retype so many pages without more errors. The computer made corrections so much easier.
    My own problem is never being satisfied with anything so nothing gets finished. A self defeating process. I am trying to force myself to finish and finally have to do a final edit.

    Reply
  87. I rewrite more than I finish and have paper copies from note books all the way to multiple tries on the computer. One of my children had a learning disability that had him writing papers without whole classes of words such as verbs. yes, sentences that were perfect in all ways except missing verbs.- very odd We bought our first computer to help him with the rewrites as it was difficult to retype so many pages without more errors. The computer made corrections so much easier.
    My own problem is never being satisfied with anything so nothing gets finished. A self defeating process. I am trying to force myself to finish and finally have to do a final edit.

    Reply
  88. I rewrite more than I finish and have paper copies from note books all the way to multiple tries on the computer. One of my children had a learning disability that had him writing papers without whole classes of words such as verbs. yes, sentences that were perfect in all ways except missing verbs.- very odd We bought our first computer to help him with the rewrites as it was difficult to retype so many pages without more errors. The computer made corrections so much easier.
    My own problem is never being satisfied with anything so nothing gets finished. A self defeating process. I am trying to force myself to finish and finally have to do a final edit.

    Reply
  89. I rewrite more than I finish and have paper copies from note books all the way to multiple tries on the computer. One of my children had a learning disability that had him writing papers without whole classes of words such as verbs. yes, sentences that were perfect in all ways except missing verbs.- very odd We bought our first computer to help him with the rewrites as it was difficult to retype so many pages without more errors. The computer made corrections so much easier.
    My own problem is never being satisfied with anything so nothing gets finished. A self defeating process. I am trying to force myself to finish and finally have to do a final edit.

    Reply
  90. I rewrite more than I finish and have paper copies from note books all the way to multiple tries on the computer. One of my children had a learning disability that had him writing papers without whole classes of words such as verbs. yes, sentences that were perfect in all ways except missing verbs.- very odd We bought our first computer to help him with the rewrites as it was difficult to retype so many pages without more errors. The computer made corrections so much easier.
    My own problem is never being satisfied with anything so nothing gets finished. A self defeating process. I am trying to force myself to finish and finally have to do a final edit.

    Reply
  91. I’m a little upset today. I’ve met an actual expert and he has told me that many of the ‘facts’ I’d based the story on are, in fact, wrong!
    I read lots of old history books, articles, and several materials available online, putting down timelines and genealogies according to the sources available to the public, and now the expert tells me that lots of those things are not true! He has had access to medieval documents available only to historians. Some of those documents have become available only in recent years, that’s why the authors of the old history books hadn’t had all the details and, feeling free to speculate, had presented their thoughts as facts, misleading me completely. 🙁
    Now… I don’t know what to do: should I stick to my initial plan and add a note at the end of the book, explaining what the historical truth is – or should I change the plot to fit the facts? (By the way: it seems my princess was not Vlad’s niece, after all; nor was she so young when she got captured, even though this is the story on public record. )

    Reply
  92. I’m a little upset today. I’ve met an actual expert and he has told me that many of the ‘facts’ I’d based the story on are, in fact, wrong!
    I read lots of old history books, articles, and several materials available online, putting down timelines and genealogies according to the sources available to the public, and now the expert tells me that lots of those things are not true! He has had access to medieval documents available only to historians. Some of those documents have become available only in recent years, that’s why the authors of the old history books hadn’t had all the details and, feeling free to speculate, had presented their thoughts as facts, misleading me completely. 🙁
    Now… I don’t know what to do: should I stick to my initial plan and add a note at the end of the book, explaining what the historical truth is – or should I change the plot to fit the facts? (By the way: it seems my princess was not Vlad’s niece, after all; nor was she so young when she got captured, even though this is the story on public record. )

    Reply
  93. I’m a little upset today. I’ve met an actual expert and he has told me that many of the ‘facts’ I’d based the story on are, in fact, wrong!
    I read lots of old history books, articles, and several materials available online, putting down timelines and genealogies according to the sources available to the public, and now the expert tells me that lots of those things are not true! He has had access to medieval documents available only to historians. Some of those documents have become available only in recent years, that’s why the authors of the old history books hadn’t had all the details and, feeling free to speculate, had presented their thoughts as facts, misleading me completely. 🙁
    Now… I don’t know what to do: should I stick to my initial plan and add a note at the end of the book, explaining what the historical truth is – or should I change the plot to fit the facts? (By the way: it seems my princess was not Vlad’s niece, after all; nor was she so young when she got captured, even though this is the story on public record. )

    Reply
  94. I’m a little upset today. I’ve met an actual expert and he has told me that many of the ‘facts’ I’d based the story on are, in fact, wrong!
    I read lots of old history books, articles, and several materials available online, putting down timelines and genealogies according to the sources available to the public, and now the expert tells me that lots of those things are not true! He has had access to medieval documents available only to historians. Some of those documents have become available only in recent years, that’s why the authors of the old history books hadn’t had all the details and, feeling free to speculate, had presented their thoughts as facts, misleading me completely. 🙁
    Now… I don’t know what to do: should I stick to my initial plan and add a note at the end of the book, explaining what the historical truth is – or should I change the plot to fit the facts? (By the way: it seems my princess was not Vlad’s niece, after all; nor was she so young when she got captured, even though this is the story on public record. )

    Reply
  95. I’m a little upset today. I’ve met an actual expert and he has told me that many of the ‘facts’ I’d based the story on are, in fact, wrong!
    I read lots of old history books, articles, and several materials available online, putting down timelines and genealogies according to the sources available to the public, and now the expert tells me that lots of those things are not true! He has had access to medieval documents available only to historians. Some of those documents have become available only in recent years, that’s why the authors of the old history books hadn’t had all the details and, feeling free to speculate, had presented their thoughts as facts, misleading me completely. 🙁
    Now… I don’t know what to do: should I stick to my initial plan and add a note at the end of the book, explaining what the historical truth is – or should I change the plot to fit the facts? (By the way: it seems my princess was not Vlad’s niece, after all; nor was she so young when she got captured, even though this is the story on public record. )

    Reply
  96. Oana-Maria, As you are discovering, online resources are not always the most accurate.
    But also, remember you are writing fiction! You need not try to be exactly accurate unless you are trying to write an accurate story about a specific person. Many of us are inspired by real life stories, but then use them to write fiction, making up our own characters. That way you can write the story you want!

    Reply
  97. Oana-Maria, As you are discovering, online resources are not always the most accurate.
    But also, remember you are writing fiction! You need not try to be exactly accurate unless you are trying to write an accurate story about a specific person. Many of us are inspired by real life stories, but then use them to write fiction, making up our own characters. That way you can write the story you want!

    Reply
  98. Oana-Maria, As you are discovering, online resources are not always the most accurate.
    But also, remember you are writing fiction! You need not try to be exactly accurate unless you are trying to write an accurate story about a specific person. Many of us are inspired by real life stories, but then use them to write fiction, making up our own characters. That way you can write the story you want!

    Reply
  99. Oana-Maria, As you are discovering, online resources are not always the most accurate.
    But also, remember you are writing fiction! You need not try to be exactly accurate unless you are trying to write an accurate story about a specific person. Many of us are inspired by real life stories, but then use them to write fiction, making up our own characters. That way you can write the story you want!

    Reply
  100. Oana-Maria, As you are discovering, online resources are not always the most accurate.
    But also, remember you are writing fiction! You need not try to be exactly accurate unless you are trying to write an accurate story about a specific person. Many of us are inspired by real life stories, but then use them to write fiction, making up our own characters. That way you can write the story you want!

    Reply
  101. Nancy, I think we all struggle with when to “stop”. Every time I re-read a manuscript I see things that can be changed. It’s not easy to decide when enough is enough—but sometimes the endless fiddling takes some of the initial life and energy a out of the story. So you do have to train yourself to say, “okay, time to go on to the next project.” Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect. And that’s okay.

    Reply
  102. Nancy, I think we all struggle with when to “stop”. Every time I re-read a manuscript I see things that can be changed. It’s not easy to decide when enough is enough—but sometimes the endless fiddling takes some of the initial life and energy a out of the story. So you do have to train yourself to say, “okay, time to go on to the next project.” Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect. And that’s okay.

    Reply
  103. Nancy, I think we all struggle with when to “stop”. Every time I re-read a manuscript I see things that can be changed. It’s not easy to decide when enough is enough—but sometimes the endless fiddling takes some of the initial life and energy a out of the story. So you do have to train yourself to say, “okay, time to go on to the next project.” Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect. And that’s okay.

    Reply
  104. Nancy, I think we all struggle with when to “stop”. Every time I re-read a manuscript I see things that can be changed. It’s not easy to decide when enough is enough—but sometimes the endless fiddling takes some of the initial life and energy a out of the story. So you do have to train yourself to say, “okay, time to go on to the next project.” Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect. And that’s okay.

    Reply
  105. Nancy, I think we all struggle with when to “stop”. Every time I re-read a manuscript I see things that can be changed. It’s not easy to decide when enough is enough—but sometimes the endless fiddling takes some of the initial life and energy a out of the story. So you do have to train yourself to say, “okay, time to go on to the next project.” Keep in mind nothing is ever perfect. And that’s okay.

    Reply
  106. I do most of my writing on my desktop or on my laptop (often sitting in bed, I have to admit!) I don’t save every change I make to my MS but I do save the MS at the end of each writing day under a different name eg 160806workingdraft.doc in a folder labelled “earlier versions”. Then if, a week or two down the road, I discover I’ve taken a wrong turning, I can go back to the MS as it was two weeks earlier and try a new approach.
    Oh, and I use the date layout YYMMDD so that the files sort themselves into date order without any fiddling from me!

    Reply
  107. I do most of my writing on my desktop or on my laptop (often sitting in bed, I have to admit!) I don’t save every change I make to my MS but I do save the MS at the end of each writing day under a different name eg 160806workingdraft.doc in a folder labelled “earlier versions”. Then if, a week or two down the road, I discover I’ve taken a wrong turning, I can go back to the MS as it was two weeks earlier and try a new approach.
    Oh, and I use the date layout YYMMDD so that the files sort themselves into date order without any fiddling from me!

    Reply
  108. I do most of my writing on my desktop or on my laptop (often sitting in bed, I have to admit!) I don’t save every change I make to my MS but I do save the MS at the end of each writing day under a different name eg 160806workingdraft.doc in a folder labelled “earlier versions”. Then if, a week or two down the road, I discover I’ve taken a wrong turning, I can go back to the MS as it was two weeks earlier and try a new approach.
    Oh, and I use the date layout YYMMDD so that the files sort themselves into date order without any fiddling from me!

    Reply
  109. I do most of my writing on my desktop or on my laptop (often sitting in bed, I have to admit!) I don’t save every change I make to my MS but I do save the MS at the end of each writing day under a different name eg 160806workingdraft.doc in a folder labelled “earlier versions”. Then if, a week or two down the road, I discover I’ve taken a wrong turning, I can go back to the MS as it was two weeks earlier and try a new approach.
    Oh, and I use the date layout YYMMDD so that the files sort themselves into date order without any fiddling from me!

    Reply
  110. I do most of my writing on my desktop or on my laptop (often sitting in bed, I have to admit!) I don’t save every change I make to my MS but I do save the MS at the end of each writing day under a different name eg 160806workingdraft.doc in a folder labelled “earlier versions”. Then if, a week or two down the road, I discover I’ve taken a wrong turning, I can go back to the MS as it was two weeks earlier and try a new approach.
    Oh, and I use the date layout YYMMDD so that the files sort themselves into date order without any fiddling from me!

    Reply
  111. Joanna, that’ so wise. I sould do more of that, if only because it’s interesting to go back and see earlier tries. I do save sections if I start to heavily rework them. But sometimes the small details are good to see. (My external drive in Time Machine does allow me to go back months and see earlier drafts, though I don’t do it much.)

    Reply
  112. Joanna, that’ so wise. I sould do more of that, if only because it’s interesting to go back and see earlier tries. I do save sections if I start to heavily rework them. But sometimes the small details are good to see. (My external drive in Time Machine does allow me to go back months and see earlier drafts, though I don’t do it much.)

    Reply
  113. Joanna, that’ so wise. I sould do more of that, if only because it’s interesting to go back and see earlier tries. I do save sections if I start to heavily rework them. But sometimes the small details are good to see. (My external drive in Time Machine does allow me to go back months and see earlier drafts, though I don’t do it much.)

    Reply
  114. Joanna, that’ so wise. I sould do more of that, if only because it’s interesting to go back and see earlier tries. I do save sections if I start to heavily rework them. But sometimes the small details are good to see. (My external drive in Time Machine does allow me to go back months and see earlier drafts, though I don’t do it much.)

    Reply
  115. Joanna, that’ so wise. I sould do more of that, if only because it’s interesting to go back and see earlier tries. I do save sections if I start to heavily rework them. But sometimes the small details are good to see. (My external drive in Time Machine does allow me to go back months and see earlier drafts, though I don’t do it much.)

    Reply
  116. Yes, I knew online sources were not reliable, but they fit the info I had gathered from old history books, that’s why I was shocked when the expert told me they were based on mere speculation, not on medieval documents.
    In this particular case, the main male character is too famous for me to play freely with. I may use my imagination to fill in historical blanks, but I can’t change things entirely. It would be like… Henry VIII not beheading Anne Boleyn and having lots of sons! :p

    Reply
  117. Yes, I knew online sources were not reliable, but they fit the info I had gathered from old history books, that’s why I was shocked when the expert told me they were based on mere speculation, not on medieval documents.
    In this particular case, the main male character is too famous for me to play freely with. I may use my imagination to fill in historical blanks, but I can’t change things entirely. It would be like… Henry VIII not beheading Anne Boleyn and having lots of sons! :p

    Reply
  118. Yes, I knew online sources were not reliable, but they fit the info I had gathered from old history books, that’s why I was shocked when the expert told me they were based on mere speculation, not on medieval documents.
    In this particular case, the main male character is too famous for me to play freely with. I may use my imagination to fill in historical blanks, but I can’t change things entirely. It would be like… Henry VIII not beheading Anne Boleyn and having lots of sons! :p

    Reply
  119. Yes, I knew online sources were not reliable, but they fit the info I had gathered from old history books, that’s why I was shocked when the expert told me they were based on mere speculation, not on medieval documents.
    In this particular case, the main male character is too famous for me to play freely with. I may use my imagination to fill in historical blanks, but I can’t change things entirely. It would be like… Henry VIII not beheading Anne Boleyn and having lots of sons! :p

    Reply
  120. Yes, I knew online sources were not reliable, but they fit the info I had gathered from old history books, that’s why I was shocked when the expert told me they were based on mere speculation, not on medieval documents.
    In this particular case, the main male character is too famous for me to play freely with. I may use my imagination to fill in historical blanks, but I can’t change things entirely. It would be like… Henry VIII not beheading Anne Boleyn and having lots of sons! :p

    Reply
  121. As I said before, I can either stick to my story and add a note at the end, showing what really happened, or change the plot and the characters, keeping only the setting. At the moment I’m not happy with any of these options. If my heart is not in a story, it is doomed to failure. I want ‘peace and harmony’ between facts and fiction. I’ll just keep researching, hoping I’ll come up with a solution.

    Reply
  122. As I said before, I can either stick to my story and add a note at the end, showing what really happened, or change the plot and the characters, keeping only the setting. At the moment I’m not happy with any of these options. If my heart is not in a story, it is doomed to failure. I want ‘peace and harmony’ between facts and fiction. I’ll just keep researching, hoping I’ll come up with a solution.

    Reply
  123. As I said before, I can either stick to my story and add a note at the end, showing what really happened, or change the plot and the characters, keeping only the setting. At the moment I’m not happy with any of these options. If my heart is not in a story, it is doomed to failure. I want ‘peace and harmony’ between facts and fiction. I’ll just keep researching, hoping I’ll come up with a solution.

    Reply
  124. As I said before, I can either stick to my story and add a note at the end, showing what really happened, or change the plot and the characters, keeping only the setting. At the moment I’m not happy with any of these options. If my heart is not in a story, it is doomed to failure. I want ‘peace and harmony’ between facts and fiction. I’ll just keep researching, hoping I’ll come up with a solution.

    Reply
  125. As I said before, I can either stick to my story and add a note at the end, showing what really happened, or change the plot and the characters, keeping only the setting. At the moment I’m not happy with any of these options. If my heart is not in a story, it is doomed to failure. I want ‘peace and harmony’ between facts and fiction. I’ll just keep researching, hoping I’ll come up with a solution.

    Reply
  126. I think I know what I’m going to do. I wanted to begin at the moment of the Moldavian raid when the princess got captured because that was a fundamental change in her life, but I can start earlier, when she was younger, at the point of another change – I just need to do more research to find out details about that particular period. (It’s morning here. Sleeping works wonders. :p)

    Reply
  127. I think I know what I’m going to do. I wanted to begin at the moment of the Moldavian raid when the princess got captured because that was a fundamental change in her life, but I can start earlier, when she was younger, at the point of another change – I just need to do more research to find out details about that particular period. (It’s morning here. Sleeping works wonders. :p)

    Reply
  128. I think I know what I’m going to do. I wanted to begin at the moment of the Moldavian raid when the princess got captured because that was a fundamental change in her life, but I can start earlier, when she was younger, at the point of another change – I just need to do more research to find out details about that particular period. (It’s morning here. Sleeping works wonders. :p)

    Reply
  129. I think I know what I’m going to do. I wanted to begin at the moment of the Moldavian raid when the princess got captured because that was a fundamental change in her life, but I can start earlier, when she was younger, at the point of another change – I just need to do more research to find out details about that particular period. (It’s morning here. Sleeping works wonders. :p)

    Reply
  130. I think I know what I’m going to do. I wanted to begin at the moment of the Moldavian raid when the princess got captured because that was a fundamental change in her life, but I can start earlier, when she was younger, at the point of another change – I just need to do more research to find out details about that particular period. (It’s morning here. Sleeping works wonders. :p)

    Reply
  131. At university, lacking typing skills, I used to write my essays by hand and in the revision process, I’d cut out bits and insert bits, and stick them together with sticky-tape. (Like Jane’s pins, I’m guessing.) So when I started writing with a computer the cut and paste options were exactly how I used to write — so comfortable.
    I’m also one who never knows when to stop fiddling. I don’t read the finished books for that reason. I just made the mistake of reading a booklet containing an article I wrote. To my annoyance, I found my article had been “edited” — in a way that inserted mistakes. I should never have read it in the first place.

    Reply
  132. At university, lacking typing skills, I used to write my essays by hand and in the revision process, I’d cut out bits and insert bits, and stick them together with sticky-tape. (Like Jane’s pins, I’m guessing.) So when I started writing with a computer the cut and paste options were exactly how I used to write — so comfortable.
    I’m also one who never knows when to stop fiddling. I don’t read the finished books for that reason. I just made the mistake of reading a booklet containing an article I wrote. To my annoyance, I found my article had been “edited” — in a way that inserted mistakes. I should never have read it in the first place.

    Reply
  133. At university, lacking typing skills, I used to write my essays by hand and in the revision process, I’d cut out bits and insert bits, and stick them together with sticky-tape. (Like Jane’s pins, I’m guessing.) So when I started writing with a computer the cut and paste options were exactly how I used to write — so comfortable.
    I’m also one who never knows when to stop fiddling. I don’t read the finished books for that reason. I just made the mistake of reading a booklet containing an article I wrote. To my annoyance, I found my article had been “edited” — in a way that inserted mistakes. I should never have read it in the first place.

    Reply
  134. At university, lacking typing skills, I used to write my essays by hand and in the revision process, I’d cut out bits and insert bits, and stick them together with sticky-tape. (Like Jane’s pins, I’m guessing.) So when I started writing with a computer the cut and paste options were exactly how I used to write — so comfortable.
    I’m also one who never knows when to stop fiddling. I don’t read the finished books for that reason. I just made the mistake of reading a booklet containing an article I wrote. To my annoyance, I found my article had been “edited” — in a way that inserted mistakes. I should never have read it in the first place.

    Reply
  135. At university, lacking typing skills, I used to write my essays by hand and in the revision process, I’d cut out bits and insert bits, and stick them together with sticky-tape. (Like Jane’s pins, I’m guessing.) So when I started writing with a computer the cut and paste options were exactly how I used to write — so comfortable.
    I’m also one who never knows when to stop fiddling. I don’t read the finished books for that reason. I just made the mistake of reading a booklet containing an article I wrote. To my annoyance, I found my article had been “edited” — in a way that inserted mistakes. I should never have read it in the first place.

    Reply
  136. LOL, Anne. I’m a horrible typist too, and early on wrote my manuscripts by hand. They look like Rube Goldberg diagrams, with crisscrossing arrows, elaborate letters—A goes here, B goes on the next page , , ,it needed a decoding ring to figure out!
    Computers area godsend. I, too, fiddle and fuss, constantly changing paragraphs. Which is why I’m a slow writer. I’m not big on re-reading my books either. I ALWAYS see why to do something better, and cringe, thinking, “why didn’t I say it THIS way, not THAT way,” Sigh.

    Reply
  137. LOL, Anne. I’m a horrible typist too, and early on wrote my manuscripts by hand. They look like Rube Goldberg diagrams, with crisscrossing arrows, elaborate letters—A goes here, B goes on the next page , , ,it needed a decoding ring to figure out!
    Computers area godsend. I, too, fiddle and fuss, constantly changing paragraphs. Which is why I’m a slow writer. I’m not big on re-reading my books either. I ALWAYS see why to do something better, and cringe, thinking, “why didn’t I say it THIS way, not THAT way,” Sigh.

    Reply
  138. LOL, Anne. I’m a horrible typist too, and early on wrote my manuscripts by hand. They look like Rube Goldberg diagrams, with crisscrossing arrows, elaborate letters—A goes here, B goes on the next page , , ,it needed a decoding ring to figure out!
    Computers area godsend. I, too, fiddle and fuss, constantly changing paragraphs. Which is why I’m a slow writer. I’m not big on re-reading my books either. I ALWAYS see why to do something better, and cringe, thinking, “why didn’t I say it THIS way, not THAT way,” Sigh.

    Reply
  139. LOL, Anne. I’m a horrible typist too, and early on wrote my manuscripts by hand. They look like Rube Goldberg diagrams, with crisscrossing arrows, elaborate letters—A goes here, B goes on the next page , , ,it needed a decoding ring to figure out!
    Computers area godsend. I, too, fiddle and fuss, constantly changing paragraphs. Which is why I’m a slow writer. I’m not big on re-reading my books either. I ALWAYS see why to do something better, and cringe, thinking, “why didn’t I say it THIS way, not THAT way,” Sigh.

    Reply
  140. LOL, Anne. I’m a horrible typist too, and early on wrote my manuscripts by hand. They look like Rube Goldberg diagrams, with crisscrossing arrows, elaborate letters—A goes here, B goes on the next page , , ,it needed a decoding ring to figure out!
    Computers area godsend. I, too, fiddle and fuss, constantly changing paragraphs. Which is why I’m a slow writer. I’m not big on re-reading my books either. I ALWAYS see why to do something better, and cringe, thinking, “why didn’t I say it THIS way, not THAT way,” Sigh.

    Reply

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