Nancy's Books

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The question I’m most often asked at book signings and school visits is how do I write, with pen and paper or computer. The answer is both. If I’m away from my computer, and I think or hear of an idea or phrase, I write on whatever is available. If not, I’ll forget the little gem of a keeper.

When I conducting research, I usually write by hand. For me, it’s more convenient to curl up on a sofa to read and write in a notebook. Sometime I also try out phrases or variations of the narrative as I happen upon some research that tickles my fancy. I usually play around with the structure of the story by longhand, especially when writing nonfiction.
I usually transfer the notes to a computer file. I’m less likely to lose it if it’s stored in cyberspace rather than in my house or car. Whether I write with a computer or on paper is really about convenience more than anything, the practical element. I always keep a notebook handy so if I’m traveling, I can jot down an idea while I’m out and about.
My drafts are done almost entirely on a computer. The beginning of a manuscript undergoes so many starts and insertions, I can keep my train of thought better by using a keyboard where the changes can be made quickly with the delete key or cutting and pasting to rearrange text. I print the drafts and revise on written copy. It’s easier for me to catch mistakes if I’m reading ink as opposed to a computer screen.
The best way to write is to figure out what works for you and follow your own path.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
One Teen Story. A monthly publication from the editors of One Story. This publication features teen writers and is available in print as well as via Kindle and other e-reading devices.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Boy’s Life. A general-interest, four color monthly, circulation 1.3 million for boys 8+ published by the Boy Scouts of America since 1911. Buys first-time rights for original, unpublished material. Fiction runs 1,000 to 1,500 words. Payment is $750+. All stories feature a boy or boys. Uses humor, mystery, science fiction and adventure.
Submission guidelines at


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