I’ve been asked whether I write manually or whether I use the machine. I do both. But mostly it’s done on the computer.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The computer is faster in the sense that I’m producing a typed out version as I write. Also I’m so used to typing that words flow better for me on the keyboard.

The trouble is that as sentences appear on screen, I end up doing a lot of editing well before the story is complete. There’s so much rewriting going on that the story gets stuck. It can be painfully slow.

With a computer, it is vital for me to be disciplined and not go back and edit sentences and paragraphs. I find that to be productive that I need to keep moving on, to work on that character, to paint that setting, to work the dialogue, to get that story down. My aim is to complete a first draft. Then the rewrite can begin.

Trouble is, I’m not all that disciplined. Using a computer also means I’m stuck to the desk. It’s a laptop but I don’t enjoy having it on my lap on the armchair or sofa. Writing manually can be done almost anywhere. I’m not tied to a screen. It feels more organic.

Yet with pen and paper, making corrections is difficult but the initial draft is quicker to compose. I then type in the hand written manuscript. So, in that way, it requires two steps. The re-writing begins as I type the story in.

I wonder if the writing process affects the writing or even the story itself.

My stories “One Day for Adlan Mutalib” was hand written whilst “Four Numbers for Eric Kwok” was composed solely on a machine. (Both stories are in 44 Cemetery Road)

Note: Thanks to Blabarella for posing this initial question on my blog!

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