Becoming Jane was on television the other night. I caught bits and pieces of it because I was doing other things and not really paying attention. But, I did see a scene where she was writing a portion of one of her novels. She dipped the quill in ink and began writing on parchment. She paced about the room a bit, as if contemplating a scene or dialogue, and went back to writing. She then crossed out some lines. That is when it hit me. All of her novels started off in longhand and before being sent to the publisher were edited and rewritten in longhand again. I wonder how many revisions the novels went through before it was perfect, or how much parchment and ink.
I’ve written in longhand before and gone on to type it into the computer. I considered the typing the second draft. But, I cannot imagine all drafts and finals being in longhand. Goodness, I am not sure an editor would be able to read my handwriting past chapter 2. I tend to start of neat, but the more I write, the more it becomes indecipherable.
Have you ever written an entire novel in longhand? Have you written partial manuscripts? If we did not live in the day of computers, would you give up writing because of writer’s cramp?