reporting on the world, writing on the screen

1) I’ve written about Hilde Lysiak before. Glad to find out that she’s still at it: “An Arizona cop threatened to arrest a 12-year-old journalist. She wasn’t backing down.

2) There’s an interesting piece by Tim Parks in the New Yorker (I’ve linked to his writing before: here, here, here, and here): “Do We Write Differently on a Screen?

This was well timed (for me), because I’ve just been noticing in my last two stories, the ones where I wrote them pretty much entirely on my phone, that I’ve been writing too fast.

Not too fast in the sense of posting a lot (it’s pretty obvious that I’m not doing that), but rushing through the story. With “The Bus Station Mystery” I had to go back after it was all posted and fill it out, giving it more room to breathe. I’m now thinking that I’ll need to do that with “The Marvel Murder Case” as well. I’m tending to think that this may be related to writing exclusively on screen.

The exciting development now is that I’ve figured out how to print from my phone. So, I’ve started to print out my drafts again, marking them up and adding new scenes in pen, and then going back to the screen later. I think it’s helping a lot.

Like Parks, I go back to the typewriter days, so I appreciate the ability to rewrite without retyping. I’ve never had the problem he refers to (“What an invitation to obsession!”) — I am not at all a perfectionist, so the overwriting he refers to, where you edit and edit and edit a piece until you’ve driven it into the ground, has never been a problem for me.

And I very much appreciated the points he makes about instant feedback and endless distractions — for both writers and readers. I think that’s a huge problem, for writing and everything else.

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