Two days in and I’m sticking to my plan. I’ve taken two old stories and finished them up. Well, I say finished…
Yesterday, I reworked my story on a typewriter. Last year, I came across this typewriter in a thrift shop on sale for $20. Twenty bucks! And the blooming thing works! (Maybe I’ve talked about this before?) Anyway, I’ve used it for things like poems and quotes but nothing longer than a paragraph–until yesterday.
The main thing about using the typewriter (other than the clackety clack of the keys) is that it encourages brevity. The ink cartridge cost almost as much as the machine itself, and how long will these cartridges even be available? How much will it cost to get this thing repaired if I break it? There’s pressure to take care of it and use it wisely. So the story doesn’t wander.
It took a while to relearn hitting the return key. I have to know where the margin is.
I didn’t type late at night because I worried the sound would wake up the husband. He’d be good natured about it, but nonetheless.
Using a typewriter slows you down. There are times when this would be a problem, but for creating a story, it felt like a good thing. I put more thought into it. And of course, without a delete key, everything you put on the paper remains to look back at you.
Is the story better or worse for all this? Neither, I think. It’s just a different process, but ultimately, I’m the same writer either way. As a practical matter, I’ll write most stories on my computer and use the typewriter for more arty things. I actually had to rearrange my work area though because the typewriter made my action figures fall off their shelves. Ha! So now my workspace is reorganized for the better, and I can type without causing minor earthquakes.
If you like typewriters too, there’s this documentary, The Typewriter (in the 21st Century).
And then there is this documentary, California Typewriter.
I had no idea Tom Hanks was such a typewriter fan.
So, what about what I wrote? Ha!
Today’s story, Drowning the Dead, I first wrote a couple of years ago during another Story-a-Day May. The theme I’d chosen then was graveyards and ghosts. The opening line:
Everyone blamed Maraid Lamar for the rain even though she’d been dead for one hundred years.
Yesterday’s story, rewritten on the typewriter, is a much older story, written before Story-a-Day even existed. In the rewrite I cut over 50%, and it’s now very different. I don’t have a title for this one though.
Lina ignored the voices at the window. They had nothing to do with her on this night or any of the nights that came before.
The next few days I’ll be working on stories I listed in my newsletter. A few people voted on favorite lines and I’ll start with them.
Thanks for reading!