Normally when people expound on the virtues of technology, as it relates to the writer’s craft, I tend to go straight for the disasters of spell checker. After that, there is google search for the words spell checker doesn’t know exists yet, and Wikipedia for the general information and stuff. That’s about as technology oriented as I get. I view having to type out a book into Word so other people can use it as a necessary evil. Necessary, but definitely evil.
As a rule, except for blogging, I write longhand. That is, with pen and paper. Yes, like you did in school. After the joy of writing, then comes the drugery of typing.
But, after typing five manuscripts I have discovered the technological benefits of Windows Split-Screen. It is probably the coolest thing that’s happened to me in a while.
Originally I would take each chapter out and set it next to the computer and open up the Word program. Then, after coffee and emotional bracing, I would start typing. You look at the paper and read a sentence or two. You type a sentence or two. You look back to the paper and read a couple more sentences. And so on, and so forth, ad infanitum. It really is a big pain.
Yet, as of late, I have found that my computer has a split-screen option. So now, I take the manuscript and scan it to PDF. Once I have the manuscript on PDF, I put the PDF and word up in split-screen. This way, it’s everything on the same screen. It’s way easier to go from one document to another. It’s generally less work. And, the scans of my bad handwriting are generally easy to read.
It has taken a good deal of axnxiety out of the drudgery that is typing. Which is, in every respect, very cool.
Technology, apparently, can be useful.