Writing without a computer??

I am in the middle of editing Silver Blade, and I can’t help wondering….how did they write before computers?

I remember starting to write a book back in high school. I worked at McDonalds at the time, and it was loosely based on me and 3 of my friends/fellow employees. It was a fiction, starting with us in high school with boyfriends very similar to those we had (it was going to be fiction, really!), and then the grown-up lives I imagined us having. The thing I remember most about my book (aside from the fact that one of the girls always wore yellow rubber rainboots), was the number of times I had to re-write pages….over and over and over. I would try to scratch and scribble and add arrows, but I always had to rip out pages and re-write them. I remember the frustration of having to start over again as one of the reasons why I gave up on the book.

So, as I said, I’m currently in the middle of editing my book…for like the 100th time. The first 99 times were before I submitted it, so needless to say I thought it was pretty much done. Eilidh, my editor, came back with some very helpful comments, stating that they were just suggestions and I could disregard anything I didn’t agree with. Well, I’m not THAT crazy that I’m going to argue with someone who edits for a living. I have no preconceptions that I am the next Stephanie Meyers. And now my “done” copy is completely covered with red edits and arrows and scratches, oh my. I confess, I read and make changes on my stories in hard copy, and I apologize to all the environmentalists out there for all the trees I’ve killed, but hey, it’s only 40 pages!! But my point is…what if it was hand written in the first place…or even God forbid, done on a typewriter?! And what if it was 400 pages? Would it end up going in the garbage like the book I started in high school?

Yes, I start most of my stories with pen and paper, but as soon as they get substance, I have them on my computer, using word processing to cut and paste and move and spell-check and…well, you get the picture. Kudos to the great authors like Shakespeare, Dumas and Tolstoy. I certainly couldn’t have done what they did! And thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for the computer!! Not only has it kept me employed in a day-job for 25 years, but it has made my book possible.

Of course, it has also made it possible to stay in touch with all of you. But that is just icing on the cake.