Maybe I should have named my blog Potpourri or Pastiche or simply a Savory Stew because I aim to throw a lot of different things into the pot, mostly about reading, writing and art, but many other things, too, because I’ve lived a long time and have a lot of interests. I also will include here thoughts of others I come upon who share my loves. Including those of you who care to share your thoughts and impressions.
Before the PC or Mac there was the TYPEWRITER
posted by Ed Farber on June 24, 2013

Most of you younger writers have never used a typewriter. How lucky you are.

Consider this. Back before PCs and Macs became the tools for writers, when you were working on a manuscript and wanted to rewrite a paragraph or a sentence or even a word, you had to retype that page. If it changed the word count, you then had to retype everything that came after it. And if you were a mediocre or even an average typist it took hours. I confess that I used to write in long hand on yellow lined tablets. I wrote an entire novel that way on 27 tablets filled with scratch-outs, scribbles, odd notes to myself. I still keep those tablets to remind myself how far we have come with computers to ease the burden of writing and rewriting.

Prior to PCs and word processors (that’s what they called the earliest rudimentary replacement for the typewriter) in order to prepare a manuscript for submission to a magazine, say, you had to type your manuscript (on a typewriter) on clean white paper, no strikeovers or erasures. Editors were then and are now particular about how a manuscript looked. If it was messy it probably would not even be read. And if it was filled with typos and poor grammar it would end up in the big, round file on the floor.

Rewriting, always a difficult process, is so easy now. Just rewrite, copy, paste. The computer does it so quickly. When you’re done, print it out. I used to paste in the old days, too, cutting out the rewritten part and pasting it in position in the manuscript, and then when I was satisfied, I would type it all out once more. Tedious, but that’s the way it was. I still have my old typewriter gathering dust on a shelf. Anyone want to buy it?



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