35 Comments
author

This observation -- specifically keyboarding it -- reminds me of the scut work of transcribing taped interviews. The task was slow, but it forced me to study how different people spoke. Each person's "burnt tongue." Having to type the exact, incorrect-but-intentional words of a person gave me a better ear for how speech varies. Such is a key to narrative voice.

Expand full comment
founding
Jun 29, 2023Liked by Chuck Palahniuk

“Handwriting is the result of a singular movement of the body, typing is not." -Roland Jouvent

Expand full comment

DeLillo doesn't even outline. He types 'paragraph at a time so he can see the shape and structure of the words on the page and he prefers the hammer of the keys against the page. He might make notes, he says, on grocery bags on the way home, though, that's about it.

Expand full comment

My writing is so bad I can’t read my own long hand writing

Expand full comment
founding

Mine can get frantically sloppy when I've got an idea going faster than my hand!

Expand full comment

Dude Kafka had the sloppiest writing and he is like a king to these literary snobs.

Expand full comment

I also know in the recovery programs there’s a certain value to the transfer from the hand to own to page - that it creates a more meaningful connection and flow to the word.

But I also know that during Mel Brooks time a typewriter was permanent. Ink on a page is permanent.

Now we can delete and recover entire novels in a matter of seconds.

Thank you for making me think about this. I’ll be playing with all different ways of writing all day now lol

Expand full comment

A great security strategy you have there

Expand full comment
author

Forgetting is the best edit.

Expand full comment

This reminded me of something Neil Gaiman once said, him talking about the difference he saw in manuscripts once typing caught on and more or less became the default. He said something to the effect that there was more in terms of quantity -- in terms of words/pages -- but that there wasn’t necessarily more in terms of quality.

Expand full comment

I take a lot of hand-written notes in workshop and on my drafts.

Expand full comment
author

I see you. Stop.

Expand full comment

Chuck, it's how I learn. Maybe you think I'm thinking too much or something and that is why I have been slow with writing lately but that isn't the case. I'm up for any suggestions. Unless you mean I shouldn't comment or something?

Expand full comment

Before I disagree, I write notes longhand as much as possible because forming the characters commits them to memory much better than typing them does.

But the good ideas stick anyway. Dont need to write them down.

However, I don't believe that this applies as much to those of us who grew up with computers in school. Seeing it typed doesnt give me any sense of completion, and I type fairly fast. Writing fiction longhand slows me down, and so far, my first drafts arent any better one way or the other. Not as far as I can tell anyway. But everyone is different. Do what works for you.

I should write some more longhand tomorrow. Its been a few months of computer revisions and I could use a break.

Expand full comment
founding

Yes, just this year I went back to writing longhand. Sometimes, with the boys running up the walls, it's the only way to get anything down! Then at night, I type it all up. But a lot of times I'll make changes from notebook to typed page, so it's almost like a bonus draft. But yeah, I can see how typing it makes it seem finished. Maybe I'll wait a little longer to type up. One thing for sure, I'm gonna hunt down this article and read the rest. P.S. Chuck--did you happen to receive the message I sent regarding the tour reading? P.S.S. If you haven't received yet, please know, I am definitely IN. And thank you again for that opportunity. Ok back to daydreaming story scenes while doing dishes. :)

Expand full comment

I try to keep something with me at all times to write when the mood strikes. I type 100 words a minute by touch and can carry on a whole conversation while I do. My husband thinks this is creepy. I often listen to music and sing while I’m writing my books and no one understands how this works including me. I guess it’s my way of turning off my conscious mind to focus.

Expand full comment
founding

now that is some serious skill right there.

Expand full comment

an ex got upset with me for reading a plaque in a park while she was talking to me. She said I wasnt paying attention and I rattled off what she had just said. This set off the most preposterous accusations Ive ever heard in my life. It was quite an experience.

But theres no way I could type and talk at the same time. Well, if I already formed the words and was typing them I could talk during the physical part. But not the creation part.

Expand full comment

Yeah I used to do that to my ex too but truth be told I wasn't really listening to her 100% 🤣 John sometimes they just want you to hold them. Look them straight in the eyes and just listen to them while part of your soul dies. That is why I'm single.

Expand full comment

Erin, that's awesome. I had one computer class in high school and touch typing was part of the class. I excelled at that because I've always wanted to learn.

I'm a bit rusty but I have reached 100 words a minute on rare occasions. But on average, I can do 80 words per minute.

Expand full comment

I’ve always struggled with handwriting, and other fine motor tasks.

None of my shoes have laces (except the hiking boots).

Typing is always easier for me, but I do find that I miss so many of my mistakes.

I’ve learned so much from the discord group over the past year, outside perspective is so crucial.

I might try using a weird font on my next draft to see if it looks less finished.

Expand full comment

Any writing I've done, it's been longhand. I'm not even sure if I miss typing things out like I used to. The one downside is when I write longhand, I am so painfully slow. I fuss over making everything look neat. I worry about going over margins and trying to fit as many words as I can on a page. I'd have a massive block of text just to try to save space. Any gaps freak me out because I think..."you jackass, you could have written something there!"

You heard it here straight out of Chuck's mouth. If you don't write longhand, you just ain't a real writer. Sorry but thems the facts, kid.

Maybe one day when we're old, we'll all gather round and marvel at our carpel tunnel from writing longhand so many years.

Expand full comment

When Mel Brooks and Chuck say it, we might wanna listen here.

But to tell you the truth, to sit in a desk of any kind, with papers and pen ready to go, makes writing feel too official. Too serious. Like I'm doing this 'big thing' only to end up with a bigger mess. Typing makes it more write whatever and move on. It's quicker. Much easier to delete. It helps, for now atleast.

Also, after a few months, I won't be able to recognise what I wrote. My handwriting looks like esoteric invocations taken out of a grimoire. Seriously, that's how much of a bad student I was in school. Could never write the lesson. Mostly took pics of notes.

Expand full comment

Discovering the Notability app was liberating. I’m a messy note taker, and I find typing notes restrictive. Writing in notebooks, meant I risked losing them. With this app I can write with a stylus on my iPad. It’s saved immediately. And if I lose the iPad, my notes will still be in the cloud.

Expand full comment

You confused me, Chuck. Who is in the picture? Mel Brooks or Max Brooks? You said it was Max but it looks more like Mel lol

Expand full comment

Nevermind...they are both in the picture. I didn't know they were related.

I'm a dummy lol

Expand full comment
author

Sorry. I plan to cite Max soon. He told me something precious about writing fiction so this is a set-up for that future post.

Expand full comment

Reading the comments, I'm not sure if we are talking about taking NOTES or writing a story. I edit my stories so many times, that my drafts would become incomprehensible if I did it by hand.

Expand full comment

Mmmmmmm. See: Joseph Joubert on more on this.

Expand full comment
founding

When I forget my writing book, I feel like I have left a limb behind. I am a big fan of those decorative blank books at Barnes and Noble. I am also glad I am not alone waking up at night to scribble something down in my book so I don't forget. Have accidentally written over lighter color ink doing this. Whoops.

Been knee deep in designing Pathfinder 2e consumables this summer. Potions, elixers, alchemical bombs, and similar magic items for the game.

Expand full comment
Jun 30, 2023Liked by Chuck Palahniuk

Shakespeare got along pretty well without a typewriter.

Expand full comment

You know lately... I have been fighting some creative blocks. Also been celibate. Very very frustrating. Been running around my home town and running into my organic attractions from childhood and saying fucking leave me alone I am damaged goods. The other day I had a conversation with my first crush about intimacy and fear and impotency in fliriting and walls and playing dumb so no one gets hurts and what it really means to be Peter Pan and Wendy. He agreed. Is an artist like me but jumps out of planes and fights fire instead. We both been so alone all of these years. We played with the Jungian Key and left the conversation at the associations of our similar deaths. Then more frustrated then ever I went to bed and made in a poem in my head. Woke up and made more poetry not caring that nobody reads poetry. . Read your first draft. Thought about poetry and collage. Sat in my studio, stared out at the hills like a heirophant and made a first draft.

Here are some photos I took a long the way.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/AUWsgEyEa5xcUmRC7

Expand full comment