Writing Resources: 10/100- Write on different devices

A lack of headings/ logos and a few of the niceties such as tagging, Sharing etc…for a reason. Perhaps by the time you read this they’ll have been added.

Also a short post, for similar reason to be explained in just a second.

What do you write on most frequently?



(Gasp) paper?

For me, I’d say it’s a split of 50/40/10 of the above.

PC for serious writing- I like my screen size, my keyboard, and where it is (my cellar, surrounded by my music, my resources and my comfortable writing chair)

Laptop if it’s away from home, or some editing or ‘light work’ (ie when we’re watching tv and I don’t need to concentrate 100% on either).

My written work? these days it tends to be my notebook for ideas that grab me when we’re out and about, or notes scribbled in the margins of a hard copy of the story I happen to be working on at the moment (for the last month or so I’ve been doing a major final edit/ rewrite on my novel ‘Air of December’ and I have to say the weight of the paperback proof I’m working on is now about 20% heavier from the amount of ink I’ve added to it).

I’m writing this on my iPad sitting in a hotel in scenic wintry Slovenia on a weekend break. I did think about bringing my laptop, but it’s a break…of sorts. Writing never stops and all that. I’m using the on screen keypad- I did buy a portable blu tooth keyboard but I have never got on with it. Maybe it’s because it’s a cheaply but the connection is flaky, the keys not responsive enough, and frankly the Word app is, I find, less than perfect: likewise, the WordPress version on mobile tablet seems functionality light…but that might be me just not having explored it enough: this is the first post I’ve written directly on tablet.

So, there’s the pre-amble and context setting. Here’s the idea.

Writing on one of these annoying touch screen keypads – whether phone or ipad, encourages brevity. Not a bad exercise if, like me, you waffle.

Why not try writing a couple of shorts from start to finish on a ‘non-common’ device? Then upload to your preferred means and see what really needs adding to make the story ‘better’.

I’ve tried it twice now and ended up with short stories which needed better spell/ grammar check than the ipad allows and I played with the formatting a bit but I didn’t add THAT many words.

I type quickly: when warmed up and in flow I tend to manage about 80 words a minute. But, as Eric Morecambe famously sort of said, “Not necessarily in the right order…”  it does mean a lot of corrections and more importantly when editing a lot of getting rid of fluff – a case in point I mentioned recently was a story that appeared in Burning, published by Burning Chair. I managed to produce around 24k words in the space of less than four days. The story ended up being slightly less than half of that.

I’m trying to use mobile devices to curb my excesses. Not sure it’s working…this is going pretty long already, but hey, it’s worth a try, right?


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