Wednesday, November 2, 2016

#IWSG November 2017 and Jeff Chapman's 5 Reasons to Write with an iPad

Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and all of the awesome people who make the IWSG website, facebook, twitter, and hop run smoothly each month!

November's Question: What is your favourite aspect of being a writer?
My Answer: 
Traveling to distant lands of imaginary landscapes with new characters in new situations is my favorite part, especially when it feels like it's all flowing onto the page right! 

Now, the next day when I look back at it and it looks like gobbledygook, that's no fun.

But traveling to distant lands of imagination is awesome!

Now, please welcome, Jeff Chapman, an amazing novelist and short story writer, who has 5 Reasons to Write on his iPad.

5 Reasons to Write is an ongoing series, separate from IWSG

Jeff Chapman's
5 reasons to write on your iPad

I used to write all of my first drafts by hand with pen in a notebook. I'd cross out words and phrases and then I'd scrawl replacements in the margins with arrows or circled numbers to keep track of what went where. Later, I would attempt to decipher the gobbledygook. Typing the manuscript took a very, very long time. I couldn't always read what I had written. I needed to do something to increase productivity, but composing a first draft at the keyboard doesn't work for me. I like to write curled up on the couch with a cat purring on my lap. Enter the iPad and the Hanx Writer app.

1) The iPad is portable. I can carry it with me everywhere, which means I can write whenever I have the time.

2) I am not tied to a desk or table. I can write lying flat on my back in bed or sitting on the couch or sitting on the beach. 

3) I love the typewriter sounds. I use Hanx Writer as my text editor. There is a free version, but an upgrade is necessary to get multiple documents. The keyboard look and sound effects mimic a manual typewriter. I love the clickety, clickety, clack, and there's a clunk when you touch the shift key. Maybe the noise gives me the sense of working hard. Writing is for the most part a silent endeavor. 

4) I can read what I've written. Putting the first draft into a story editor is now just a matter of copy and paste from a pdf. I email the current draft to myself as a pdf at least once a day. This also gives me a backup copy on an email server. 

5) Just like a typewriter, I have complete control over the text and layout. There's no auto correct or capitalization going on. It's a first draft, who needs fancy formatting?

Jeff Chapman writes software by day and speculative fiction when he should be sleeping. Fueled by dark hot chocolate, his imagination churns out dark, creepy, comic fiction ranging from fairy tales to fantasy to horror and ghost stories. His latest tale "The Flaming Emerald" appears in Ghosts of Fire. Check out Jeff's website at

Thanks for sharing, Jeff!

Writers - do you write with an iPad or portable screen like Jeff?
What's your favorite aspect of writing? 
(And, do you spell favorite the American way or the British way?)

BTW - all of my Trick-or-Treat reads are still free until this coming weekend.


Crystal Collier said...

Yay for adventures!

I had a netbook with a keyboard that I wrote on for a bit. It was WAY too convenient and I love it. I'd work out on the elliptical while writing, or take it to the grocery story with me...but then one of the kids broke it. *sigh* I should ask for a replacement for Christmas, eh?

Nancy Gideon said...

I remember those days! I wrote my first 6 books out long hand and retyped them on a Smith Corolla! After wrist surgery (no surprise) I timidly invested in a word processor. Once I crawled up to laptop level, I never looked back. I still have a first gen iPad so maybe in my next adventurous upgrade. Thanks for co-hosting, Tyrean!

Angela Wooldridge said...

I usually write longhand first - I think there's a brain-to-hand-to-pen-to-paper connection that's almost a kind of magic of it's own.
However, this year I'm nano-ing for the first time ever and don't want to give myself the extra work, so I'm attempting brain-to-keyboard instead.
Tune in next month to see how it went!

Unknown said...

I've never written on my tablet (I have a Kindle Fire HD) but I'd like to see if it's possible for me...I'd love to make my writing portable!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've had that gobbledygook moment, too. :)

Definitely going to look into writing on my iPad. I know laptops are supposed to be all portable, etc but mine just never feels that way, not in the same way an iPad does anyway.

Tamara Narayan said...

The idea of portability is appealing, but I can't write without quiet and focus. Not sure I could do that in bits and pieces while out and about. But I do need something to write notes on that won't get thrown out in the trash.

Christine Rains said...

Huzzah for adventures! It's a pleasure to co-host with you this month. :) And I never considered writing on an ipad, but now I think I might have to try just for the typewriter sounds. I miss the days of the typewriter.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I have a writing app but I rarely use it. My thoughts just flow better when I write by hand.

I love those distant lands of imagination.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Like you, I too enjoy going on adventures with my characters and also living a bit of their lives through the story!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My macbook died and I teetered between buying another macbook or a bluetooth keyboard for my ipad. I ended up buying a ipad because with all the apps I needed the price was the same. My eyes aren't what they used to be, plus I type 70+ words on the macbook. Jeff, great post. I bet you helped a lot of writers make up their minds.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Shoot--sorry, Tyrean. I meant you and not Jeff. Just left his blog.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I used to write first drafts by hand too. Takes a long time. But I type them on my laptop now. LOL with favorite. Every 6 months or so my publisher sends a reminder to all the authors to remind us to use American spellings.

Chemist Ken said...

I've tried writing on a tablet, but I find it so frustratingly slow, I'd rather write long hand. The only time I use a tablet for writing is when I'm stuck somewhere away from home and have enough free time to make it worthwhile. Glad it works for you, Jeff.

Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG, Tyrean!

Jemima Pett said...

Ooh, another reason to get an ipad! The reasons are stacking up :)

Good luck with Nano

Unknown said...

I've always found it easier to type my thoughts than write them out long-hand, but I can see how that process could be useful in working out plot. Thanks for co-hosting this month, Tyrean (what a cool name)! I'm participating in NaNo this year, and (I hope it wasn't too forward) I added you as a writing buddy. Cheers!

cleemckenzie said...

Lots of places to escape in books--writing them and reading them.

Thanks for Jeff's iPad post.

Jen Chandler said...

I tend to do all my initial research in long-hand with a pad of paper and a pen. I know, I'm old fashioned but it works for me. As for the nitty-gritty writing and editing, it's a combination of the two. I type up a summary in my laptop, print it out and edit by hand. Each draft is done the same way. I just edit better in the flesh than on the screen.

I feel I need to offer a sacrifice to the Ents for using so much paper...

Thanks for helping us co-host today!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I love the typewriter sounds too! I miss that. It does make you feel more accomplished as you type to hear the clunk-zip.

Tyrean, gobbly gook? That's just the fodder for the good stuff. That's totally normal in a first draft. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't type on my iPad often, but maybe I'm using the wrong app. I'll download Hanx Writer and see what happens.

Michelle Wallace said...

I've never tried writing on my iPad. I do use the notes App to jot down ideas for posts etcetera.
There are days when most of my words seem like gobbledygook...hopefully the gems are nestling in between...

Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!
Happy IWSG Day!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

BTW, thanks for co-hosting, Tyrean!

Mina Burrows said...

I write on my ipad too. I write what I can on my computer and then at night, I grab my iPad. Whatever works, ya know?

Thanks for the great reasons and for co-hosting!

Jacqui Murray said...

Good article. I haven't heard of the writing app and will be checking it out. I don't like the iPad for writing because I can't feel the keys. I know--that's just me. My middle school students don't have that problem.


Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! I've been bopping around the IWSG list, but not here. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Unlike Jeff, I'm a laptop and notebook writer. I don't have a screen that I like to write on, but I'm glad this works for Jeff, and I love that he has an app that makes a typewriter sound.

Crystal - Writing while on the elliptical - you are way more talented than me! Hope you get a new one for Christmas!

Nancy - best wishs on your future adventures!

Morgan - portable writing is the best writing. :)

Madeline - my laptop is a bit of a clunker, so I have to be somewhere sitting down with it, but I still schlep it all over the place. I'm currently writing from a couch at the house of my daughter's chemistry teacher - a homeschool mom Biochemist who teaches from her house - and there's awesome experiments that distract me - last week, night vision goggles were in play.

Tamara - if Jeff's ideas don't work, I highly recommend a notebook. The pages stick together and it's harder to lose.

Christine - it's a pleasure to co-host with you, too.

Diane- I like switching back and forth from hand to keyboard. Happy imagination day!

Rachna -it is fun!

Joylene - no, this is Jeff - hmm, what did he say on his blog today?

Susan - yes, I have students in my writing classes who have Canadian parents . . . and the spelling issue comes up. :)

Ken - you're welcome!

Jemima - I know! My youngest daughter has a screen with an attachable keyboard. That's the one that I want - not an iPad, but something like it.

Loren -thanks for adding me! My name "Tyrean" is all my parents' invention - or so they thought. I've found a few other instances in my research. :)

Clee - definitely!

Jen - yes, the Ents probably would have a few things to say to all of us writers.

Elizabeth - good to know!

Alex- yes, maybe the sounds make a difference!

Michelle- I hope so!

Mina - definitely -whatever works, works! :)

Jacqui - I know. My kids don't have a problem writing on screen, but I have a tough time with it.

Jeff Chapman said...

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Tyrean.

Ryan Carty said...

When I write, it has to be on the laptop or by hand. We all have our special quirks, right?
Sometimes, just for fun, I use British spellings. I pretend it makes me more clever.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have a small laptop, but would love a smaller I-Pad or Surface.

Lee Lowery said...

I have a tablet, but I need the larger keyboard of my laptop for serious writing. Out and about, I'm still carrying a notebook and pen. Some habits never die. Thanks for co-hosting today!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Tyrean!

I have a laptop, and like Jeff, it's very portable. However, I tend to write at home, but I move around the house a lot.

Mark said...

I definitely like being able to read a draft on an iPad:) It makes it "feel" more real when I review it:)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I spell favouite the Aussie way ;)
I'll have to give writing on the ipad a go because I also love writing my first draft curled up on the couch

Elsie Amata said...

I just bought a MacBook Air and it's so light and I can carry it anywhere to write. Plus the battery life on this thing is insane!

Kristin Smith said...

Hmm, I've never thought about writing on in iPad, but Jeff makes some valid reasons why it's a good idea! I didn't realize you could set it so it sounds like a typewriter when you type. Pretty cool.

I have a MacBook Air, so it's really lightweight and easy to carry around. And it's also great for the bed or couch or wherever. I think I'll probably stick with that for now. :)

Nick Wilford said...

I love the distant lands of imagination!

I didn't know about that typewriter program. I've never thought about writing on an iPad, and I don't have my own one, but Jeff makes it sound fun!

Lisa said...

I think my eyes would boggle out of my head if I tried to write on a small screen. I tried with a small laptop a few years ago and had to get a new laptop with a MUCH bigger screen. Maybe it's age, who knows. Glad it works for Jeff! Still, my next laptop will be a mac, a bigger mac.

Erika Beebe said...

I love writing on my I PAd. I agree, it's very portable and I like sipping my coffee in bed and writing along without sitting all stiff at my desk :)

Cherie Colyer said...

Great reason to write on an iPad. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for co-hosting.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love traveling to those distant lands as well! So much fun :)
I've never even thought about typing on my iPad! I use Scrivener so I doubt it's compatible, but you never know - I'll have to look into it :

Nicola said...

I need a large screen to work from, due to poor eyesight. Failing that I use paper and pen.Great post!

Olga Godim said...

I write on my laptop, with the MS Word. Have been doing it since I started writing over a decade ago, and so far, neither disappointed me, even though I upgraded the Word version a couple times and bought a new laptop twice, when the old ones died.
Thanks for co-hosting, Tyrean.
Great list, Jeff.

Rachel Pattinson said...

That's what I love about writing too! Travelling to new worlds! How strange - ever since I started writing seriously, I just tended to use a notebook to scribble odd notes but do the bulk of my writing on my laptop - for my current WIP however, I'm trying out writing most of it out by hand! I'm not looking forward to typing it all up, but I am enjoying it so far :). Thanks for co-hosting!

Diane Burton said...

I write on my laptop. The bad thing (for me) about writing with pen & paper is that I can't read it afterward. LOL I even make notes on the computer. But whatever works for you.

Lynn La Vita said...

I am so glad you co-hosted IWSG for a very selfish reason. I got to see your article, Five Reasons To Write on an iPad. For reasons I don't quite understand, I'm always traveling and writing 'snatches' in my small spiral notebook. I don't like typing the notes. Thanks for refreshing my interest in making friends with my iPad.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Jeff - you're welcome!

Ryan - me, too. Actually, I just grew up reading some Canadian books that my grandmother had.

Natalie - one of my daughters has a surface with an attachable keyboard and I think it's pretty cool. However, I like the big keyboard. :)

Lee - me, too. I use notebook and pen quite a bit.

Cathrina - it's nice to be able to move around, even just inside a house.

Mark - I'll have to try that.

Lynda - good to know. :)

Elsie - Battery life is important.

Kirsten - I think the weight makes a difference for any kind of device.

Nick - Jeff definitely makes it sound like fun!

Lisa - I like a fairly large screen, but more importantly, I like a big keyboard.

Erika - good point. Sometimes, I sit with my laptop on my lap in a comfy chair.

Cherie - thanks for stopping by!

Jemi - Scrivener . . . I'm definitely going to have to try that someday.

Nicola - paper and pen still works!

Olga - I do most of my fiction writing on my laptop, too.

Rachel - Writing by hand does something interesting to our imaginative brains. I think it helps us take time to visualize it all.

Diane - I have that trouble, too, if I get going fast.

Lynn - thanks! Although it's Jeff's article that rocks - I just have that little bit at the top.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I always do the initial writing in longhand. In a spiral-bound notebook. In ink. (Not that I'm picky or anything...)

Yes, I can see where you'd consider traveling to those imaginary landscapes to be a favorite aspect of writing, but even better... you get to create those landscapes and take your readers there with you! :)

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Okay, so I haven't branched out to the iPad...yet! Thanks for co-hosting the November question for IWSG. I've joined your blog!

Stephanie Faris said...

Someone told me that when you write longhand, it activates a different part of the brain and it can sometimes help you if you're stuck. So I'm trying it right now with this synopsis. Sometimes I think it's just all about doing something different!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Susan - True! I guess I just feel like I get to travel there, even when I'm the one making it up.

Victoria - Jeff makes some great points for iPads, doesn't he?

Stephanie - Let us know how writing a synopsis in longhand works out. Those are tough!

Chrys Fey said...

I don't have an iPad, but I've emailed my edited drafts as PDFs to myself to open on my Kindle. It really helps to see and read the story in that format.

Unknown said...

I actually kind of like the gobbledegook part, especially when I say, "did I write that?"

Tyrean Martinson said...

Chrys - It does really help to see the story in kindle format!

PJ - yeah, that's always fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Traveling to distant lands of imagination is definitely awesome. :) My kids use iPads for their schoolwork all the time. I still prefer the full size keyboard and large monitor of my desktop. I used to write out my stories by hand. I have first drafts of both of my books written in pencil in notebooks. I never had a problem reading my writing, but it was a royal pain to edit.

Anonymous said...

And thanks for co-hosting!

Debbie Johansson said...

I've never written on my ipad, although I do like the thought of it being so portable. I guess I'm so used to using a traditional keyboard that I've become comfortable with it. And I love traveling to different lands and meeting new people in my imagination! Good to meet you Tyrean. :)

Fundy Blue said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month, Tyrean! I wrote by hand on sheets of foolscap and legal pads forever, but once I learned to type on a computer, those days were gone! But I got a kick out of revisiting those times through your words! I haven't written on an iPad because my eyes need a bigger screen, and I love my keyboard, so I lug my laptop everywhere. I do miss those typewriter sounds though! Happy writing in November!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I think it would drive me nuts to write on an iPad, but I need a bigger keyboard. But it does sound quite freeing for those who can stand it!

HRBennett87 said...

It would have never occurred to me before that someone might want to write on an iPad versus something else, but to each their own. I personally always have my laptop or my pad and pen SOMEWHERE near me. haha

Unknown said...

"I can read what I've written." Haha! Yes, that sounds like an important part of getting the first draft down! When I'm stuck, I write longhand. Sometimes I can't decipher it either, but when I transcribe it, I can basically get the gist. Great post!

Tony Laplume said...

Writing on a computer changed, and freed, my writing considerably, for sure.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I like writing on a laptop. I like your description of the keys sounding like an old manual type-writer. I'd like that, too. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!
Mary at Play off the Page

Pat Garcia said...

Yes, traveling to distant lands, getting to know new cultures and seeing my reaction to what I find out is a part that fascinates me also. Thank you for co-hosting.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem,

Tyrean Martinson said...

Lori - I definitely need the full sized keyboard, so I understand!

Debbie - good to meet you, too!

Fundy - I lug my laptop everywhere, too. I think Jeff is pretty smart to write on his iPad, but I'm not sure I could.

Shannon - I think so, too.

Robert - the Somewhere is always the question, right? Where is my pen? - or at least that's what I ask myself regularly.

Lexa - I'm glad you liked Jeff's post!

Tony - It is definitely freeing.

Mary - I think Jeff's a genius for finding an app that makes it sound like a typewriter.

Pat -yes, whether it's real life travel or imaginary travel, it's always interesting.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Tyrean,

Thanks for cohosting....

I actually hated writing on my iPad and sold it. LOL... I prefer typing on my MacBook... I type fast and it is much more enjoyable for me. I used to love writing in long hand, but since I have bouts of terrible arthritis in my hands, they cramp up too much when I write.... Oh, well... That's life. Thankfully typing doesn't aggravate my fingers too much!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Michael - you're welcome!
Jeff's actually the iPad guy - I tried to host him for a guest post today and I think it may have backfired badly. Oy.
Anyway, I usually type and I have an ergonomic keyboard that's wireless. That helps with cramping.

S. M. Pace said...

@ Tyrean: I sometimes think I gravitate to writing because I have the soul of a traveler, but all our money goes to things like food, and keeping a roof over our heads. If I can visit the world in real life, I can do it in my head.

@ Jeff, Great post. I'm a committed laptop writer. I need to be at my keyboard, sitting up, preferably with something to cushion my back. I use Scrivener to draft, then copy paste everything into Word doc. I always print my drafts for revision.

farawayeyes said...

Awe traveling to the distant lands of the imagination. That's as good a reason as any to write. It's a good reason to read too. I love being taken away by a skilled writer. That is my goal; to one day be skilled enough to take my readers into my imagination where they cn get lost.

M Pax said...

Trips to imagination land are the best, Tyrean.

I wish I could write at work. Then I'd look at an iPad.

Raimey Gallant said...

I'd actually like to plan my next project around a real life destination I've never been too. May be ambitious, but we'll see!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Gobbledygook lol. Do these rules also apply to a Kindle? lol I'll have to try it out.

Thank you for co-hosting!

Jeffrey Scott said...

Like you, I also love the distant lands of the mind we create.

Jeff- I love the clackity sound of an actual typewriter too. I have seven rough drafts of stories from an actual typewriter that I am currently trying to enter into the computer and update for possible publication. Here's hoping.

Yes, my favourite way of spelling is standard British.

Lidy said...

Thanks for co-hosting!
I feel the same. The best aspect of writing is the traveling you get to do and you don't even have to use your frequent flyer miles.
Don't have an iPad but I understand liking to hear the clickety clack clack of a typewriter. Learned to type on one in high school and always found it soothing and stimulating.

Tara Tyler said...

I totally agree! I love writing on my ipad with my bluetooth keyboard!
I love these 5 things posts =)

Happy November!

Toi Thomas said...

I like your favorite part of being a writer, and your next day reaction.
Learned something new today with the Hanx Writer app.
I spell favorite the English way, obviously. ;)
Thanks for the freebies and thanks for co-hosting.

Unknown said...

Jeff, I used to write first drafts by hand, too. Unfortunately, my handwriting is abysmal. :( I switched to a computer and have not looked back!

Heather R. Holden said...

Getting to explore the depths of my imagination is one of my favorite things about writing, too! But LOL, yeah, I agree, looking back at the results the next day can definitely be a bit...nightmarish. XD

Elizabeth said...

Traveling to imaginary lands is a thrilling experience! Those are some great reasons to use an iPad, I might have to look into getting one, or see if I can get that app on my Kindle Fire.