Writing fiction

There are two reasons for such a massive deluge of new writers and first novels today compared with, say, thirty years ago ... (1) The personal computer and Microsoft's Word and (2) Wikipedia.

I'm of an age to remember pounding out typewritten pages, piles of screwed up sheets overflowing the waste basket, hours and hours spent poring over learned tomes in the public library in research.

I'm not of an age to remember handwriting and re-writing my work. That came before typewriters. How on earth did William Shakespeare do it - and with a goose quill pen to boot? He was said to have written Much Ado About Nothing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 1's command performance - in eight days time! And I've actually been inside that tiny upstairs room in a cottage in Chawton, Hampshire, where Miss Jane Austen hand-wrote her immaculate novels in total secrecy.

So now we can cut and paste and change everything again and again at will and if we need to know about what happens for instance when you break your back (as I needed to know for chapter two of The Book - see http://www.bryanislipauthor.com) it's just a click on a key and an hour's study.

Whatever could WS and JA and all the other literary greats of history have achieved if they had the tools available to me? The mind does indeed boggle.

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