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Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?



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  #21  
Old August 11th, 2008, 3:06 pm
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I learned to type in high school for a typing course. We were ordered not to watch our hands while typing, but most people did. That was when I learned I'm a freaky typist.

I have this obsessive thing, apparently, and when I learned how to type I couldn't stop typing. I'd be having conversations with people and in my mind I'd be typing what they were saying: like my fingers would actually be moving as if I were typing out our conversation. Or sometimes I'd just be typing the last sentence they said over and over again.

Suffice it to say I built up a ridiculously fast typing speed and learned to touch-type very quickly. I can't imagine looking at my hands when I write now. lol.

As for writing and reading what I've written, sometimes I'll write quite a bit without going back, other times I'll read and re-read a paragraph to make sure it feels right before I go on. For me it's all about pacing.

I try not to do too much editing as I go. If I can't think of a word for something I'll just type in the closest thing and then I'll highlight it so that I can remember to go back and put in the proper word. If I can't think how I want to describe a scene I'll do the same thing -- then I go back to it later when I am in the right frame of mind to do it. This happens with me every so often, as I'm better at dialogue than I am at describing rooms or landscapes. So I give it a few days and then go back to the previous scenes I've written and add the detail by imagining that I'm looking at something for the first time and am describing it to a blind person.

But touch-typing certainly helps, as it allows me to just get my ideas out first so that I don't forget them. My stories are all built up in my head, but not down to the minutest detail. I know where the plot is going, and how certain scenes are going to go, but most of the in-between stuff is just sort of vaguely sketched out in my mind. So when I write, a lot of it sort of evolves as I'm writing, and comes as inspiration hits me. If I couldn't type fast or touch-type, I'd lose a lot of those ideas because I wouldn't get them out quickly enough.

But I have also taken to carrying around a notebook with me at all times so that I can jot down ideas as they come to me. I have found this to be helpful. I also use the notebook to keep track of certain details so that my facts remain consistent.


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  #22  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:08 pm
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I can touch type okay, but when I start to type too fast I make mistakes.

I prefer to type out stories than write by hand, I can type for a lot longer than I can write.

xx


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  #23  
Old October 26th, 2008, 11:07 pm
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I have to look at my fingers for like the first second to make sure my hands are positioned properly and then I touch type. My friends think it's because i'm freakishly smart that I can do that, but it's really just because I type so much. I have to look at the screen to make sure i don't make too many mistakes and looking at my hands doesn't help too much, but it works a little I guess. Weird....I'm experimenting while typing this and maybe it does help a little....but i prefer looking at the screen anyways. I can do it without looking at the screen or keyboard, but what else am I supposed to look at in a room with nothing interesting in it? Unless if i'm typing up an English essay or something and I have to look at the rough draft.


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  #24  
Old October 27th, 2008, 2:24 am
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I'm not good a touch-typing... Especially when I write English, it's like all the letters have moved. But I have an ability that makes me able to watch the screen and the keyboard at practically the same time, and avoid making mistakes. Magic, I think it's called.


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  #25  
Old October 27th, 2008, 11:11 pm
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I say "aye" for touch typing. It is especially useful if you have an idea for a scene in your head and your brain is speeding well ahead, and the only way to keep up with your gray matter is to touch type. Weird, I find looking down at the keyboard gives me fewer mistakes, but I still look at the screen anyway.


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  #26  
Old March 11th, 2009, 12:41 am
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I can Touch-Type. I write faster than I type though. I think for some reason it's easier to do when you don't think about what your doing.


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  #27  
Old August 14th, 2012, 12:41 am
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I can usually touch-type but when I have to use a less used symbol (like a parenthesis) than I find that I look at the keyboard so that I don't make a mistake. I really want to perfect touch-typing because it makes typing easier for me.


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Old August 16th, 2012, 12:11 am
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
I can usually touch-type but when I have to use a less used symbol (like a parenthesis) than I find that I look at the keyboard so that I don't make a mistake. I really want to perfect touch-typing because it makes typing easier for me.
I've been touch-typing for years. I do about 90 wpm. I don't think I could write without that skill. It helps me put out a lot of work.


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  #29  
Old August 16th, 2012, 4:18 pm
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morning_Star View Post
I'm not good a touch-typing... Especially when I write English, it's like all the letters have moved.
International keyboards move letters around and it's really hard to adjust! - I did a study abroad in Italy that totally screwed up my touch-typing abilities because the letters and punctuations marks were all in different places.

I remember watching my mom type as a kid and thinking that it was so amazing that she could touch-type and always always wanted to be able to do it so my first year of college I took a sheet of labels (the kind that you print custom address labels on for your home printer), cut them into little squares and covered all the letters on my keyboard so I couldn't look at the letters on the keyboard as I was typing. I knew I knew where all the letters were, it was just a habit to look down at the keyboard so having the letters covered up forced me to look at the screen to make sure I was typing the correct letters. I got a lot of funny looks from friend when they would get on my computer and saw that I had covered up all the letters on my keyboard.

Now I can touch-type pretty well. I still glance down at the keyboard every once in a while, especially when I feel like I'm touching two keys at once - which happens a lot when I type C's, V's and B's since I use my left index finger for all those letters, when I type Q's and W's which I use my left ring finger for, and O's and P's which I use my right index finger for... I've tried to break some of my typing habits like that and use the "right" finger (as the the finger typing classes tell you to use to type that letter) but it's such an ingrained habit by this point. I also only use the right shift key (which makes it difficult to speed type and make captial L's, captial M's, captial O's and captial P's, not to mention all the punctuation keys on the right side that I have to look at the keyboard to get right a lot of the time) and only hit the space bar with my right thumb. In fact, I've worn shiny spots on my spacebar and my right shift key from preferencing my right hand for those keys.

Now, my typing ability has really taken a turn because I work for 9 hours a day in AutoCAD and use all the keyboard shortcuts for that program. My right hand will be working the mouse and my left hand will be flying all over the keyboard hitting the shortcut buttons. My new constant miss-hit on a key is that I hit F1 (which in CAD brings up the Help window) instead of ESC all the time now, which really slows me down. So I took a page out of my own book and covered the ESC key in the soft, fuzzy part of a Velcro sticker so I would know whether my finger was touching the ESC key or not.

As for writing novels with touch-typing, it's all dependant on how you work. If you type your first draft out and can already touch type than I imagine that it's a no-brainer for you to carry on with what you already can do. I've never written a novel (only fanfic) but I find that touch-typing is a useful skill to have as I can type the scene i'm thinking about out faster and don't have to focus so much on the actual typing. Though it is distracting to see that you've misspelled a word and I always have to stop and go back to fix it before I can carry on which does kill momentum.


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  #30  
Old August 20th, 2012, 3:33 am
LouDB  Female.gif LouDB is offline
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Re: Touch-Type Novel (and others) writing - good or bad?

I can touch-type easily too but I guess it comes with practice. I started to use a computer when I was six and I've always used it mostly for writing. My favorite pastime as a teenager was to write novels (like 150 pages!) and I'm sure most people would be pretty good at touch-typing after such an intense training! I'm now 26 and I can even type in the dark, my brain has completely memorized the keyboard and my fingers know where to go :-)

When I buy a new computer, however, I do need some time to adjust :the space between keys can vary a bit and the "feeling" is not always the same depending on the kind of keyboard you have (a "Wave keyboard" moves when you type something, a "chiclet keyboard" has keys separated with a little space like on Apple keyboards, etc).

I think it's useful to know how to touch-type because you can get a "global picture" of what you write instead of focusing on spelling each word properly. It's an ability you will learn by typing more and more, faster and faster until the position of keys registers in your memory!


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