It’s interesting to reflect on how drastically things have changed in the last few decades.
Back in my student days, and those that immediately followed, I used a completely different writing process. Then as now I usually created the idea on a walk. After I worked the idea out in my head I sat down and wrote a first draft in pencil. When finished I read through the draft and made corrections. Whole sections, paragraphs, sentences and blocks of words were marked out or moved. Other text was often written on another piece of paper with a numbering system to help me place it. I then wrote a second draft, which was often very different from the first. This was again written in pencil. Then I would go back and edit again. I very rarely did quite as much of the large scale moving blocks of text around, but then again, sometimes I did. For an important paper I might do one more pencil draft. Depending on where it was to go from there I would finish with a final draft in pen or on the typewriter.
So, back in the day it might take over 30,000 words written in pencil plus another 10,000 written in pen or typed to complete one 10,000 word story. Continue reading