Free creative writing course - pen and paper writing

Free Writing Course – Pen and Paper

Creative Writing, Free Writing Course

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Part 4 Writing with a pen (or pencil) on paper is important – why?

Get an idea down on paper. No distractions. There’s no delay (assuming you can find your notebook).

I often draw a ‘mind map’, this is especially useful if I have to write a story or an article on a specific theme or subject. I will then write a first draft on paper – sometimes this is only the introduction or a rough sketch of my story.

Writing with a pen and paper feels more like writing to me, there is an urgency to fill that page and my mind focuses solely on the flow of thoughts to my pen.

I draw arrows, cross words or phrases out (with the advantage that they are not deleted).

I disregard spelling, punctuation and grammar (On my laptop there are always those distracting little red and blue lines generated by the word processor).

Working on a computer there is always the temptation to check facts which leads to the black hole that is the internet (many writers love research more than writing – we will discuss research in a future lesson). On paper simply make a note to check and carry on.

Once I have my idea on paper I will start to work on the computer. Now your first draft is already your second draft. You can add things, check those facts and follow your word count.

As with all the advice you read about writing this approach may not work for you. As discussed in The Myths Explained there are no rules to writing that fit every author. I will admit that, sometimes, an article or story bounces around in my head until it congeals and I go straight to the laptop and start writing the first draft.

The advice I give here is designed to provide you with useful tools – how and if you use them is your decision.

Read more short stories and poetry

Listen to Harlan Coben talking about writing Saturday Live BBC Radio 4 25/03/2023 Interview with Harlan Coben.

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