I just picked up my manuscript draft from Kinko’s -- the first time I’m reading it on paper. It’s a great feeling to hold my book in my hands, even if it’s an early draft.
I mostly revise and edit digitally, but I print out my manuscript at a couple stages -- late, when it’s very close to complete and I need to be able to proofread, and early, when I need to see if the whole story flows and holds together.
I relate to the information differently on paper. There’s more distance -- I can see the words more as another reader would, for one thing. For another, it’s easier to flip back and forth, highlighting words or expressions I’ve used too much, looking for plot or character inconsistencies.
Plus I need something to donate to future scholars who want to study my collected papers, right? And it’s another kind of data backup -- if my computer crashes, at least I’ve saved one version of my story.
But mostly I get excited to pick up a paper manuscript because it looks more like, well, a book. There’s something about paper -- reading from a printed page hits a different part of my brain. It seems more real, whereas digital media seems more negotiable -- easier to put aside, easier to scroll and skip ahead. But I digress -- this isn’t an e-book discussion. :)
How do you use paper when you revise and edit? Are you all digital? Do your paper drafts have so much cutting, pasting and color-coding that they look like preschool art projects? Or are you even one of those old-school scribes who drafts in longhand?
And for paper enthusiasts, a link to Holly Lisle's legendary One-Pass Revision Method! I don't use it, but I admire those brave enough to try.