Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh the cramping

This was a strange writing weekend. I was experimenting with fountain pen writing. Here's what I learned:

My Cross Century II is a great pen and I love the feel of it in my hand. It's got a good balance and is easy to work with. I'm waiting for a fine-tip nib to use with it; the medium stroke is a touch too broad for a felt tip.

For inks I got the Noodlers Bullet-Proof black, and a Levenger Raven Black. I am of mixed feelings on these, but I'm withholding judgement. Thus far the Noodlers holds up better and doesn't spider out on the paper. However it also doesn't dry quickly enough and I found my fingers in ink more often than I would have liked. The Lenvenger spidered a touch but dried instantly and never smeared.

For paper I tried a Moleskin notebook, a 20lb stock legal pad, and some nice white laser stock. I prefer paper with lines because the lefty in me can't write straight without it and all my lines end up diagonal. The ink looked fantastic on the Moleskin, but unfortunately did not absorb and took way too long to dry. The same goes for the Laser paper. As it turns out, the legal pads worked the best. Matched with the Levengers I was able to write with no fuss. I never got any bleed through, but again, it looked like I was writing with a felt pen. I'm considering splurging and getting the 60lb stock notepads from Levenger that claim to be specific for Fountain pens. I'll let you know if I do.

In terms of story writing, I felt a little hindered. I will admit that it was SO nice not to have the distraction of the computer in front of me tempting me with gadget blogs and news to read. However I sometimes found my mind wandering to strange places while my frequently crampy hand worked to catch up. My hand just can't write as fast as my brain thinks this shit up. I think that this can be helped by brainstorming sessions where I "pre-write" the sections. That way I'll let my characters do their thing, jot it down and then go back and focus on the words.

I still worried about word counts etc, but not having them allowed the chapter to end when it ended instead of when it reached a word count that satisfied my inner task master. All in all, I actually felt very satisfied by what I got done, even though I only finished maybe half of what I normally finish.

It was a fun chapter to write. Jak, Harley and Felix have a good chemistry together and I'm really enjoying working with them. This chapter was really all about giving Jak a reason to be scared and I think I gave him a good one.

Writing will progress much faster now that I've finished my last television obsession: Alias. Started watching it during my cardio and even though they are the WORST spies in the entire world and the 5 season over-arching plot was beyond ridiculous, I couldn't stop watching. I have no more TV to watch except new stuff as it comes out so I should be good to go. I can't wait till Jak really meets the giants.

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