In my critique group, one of my fellow writers talked about a workshop he attended. He said the proper way to write was in composition notebooks. Or, so he learned in his workshop.

That tidbit sparked a small debate about whether it was a different experience to write by hand versus by computer. Something about people who type directly into the computer are wordier than those who don’t.

I never like broad generalizations, but it’s an interesting theory.

I still don’t understand why the composition notebook. What’s wrong with looseleaf paper in a binder or blank books or spiral notebooks? Isn’t paper, well, paper?

In the interest of the experiment, I bought a couple composition notebooks. Luckily, they’re for sale for a quarter at Target. I love back-to-school sales! Yesterday I wrote in one for awhile while my daughter slept.

Okay, I’ll admit at this moment I’m just happy to be writing. So in the purposes of science, how long would I have to write to make a good determination? What variables should I keep track of?

You might be able to tell I’m a recovering engineer. Recovering because I no longer go to meetings.

That statement might not be totally true, since those critique groups run at specific times and places. Ah well, it’s very difficult to get away from all meetings. I should just be happy I’ve cut down.

A writing experiment on paper versus computer makes me wonder what things to track. What do writers look for in their sessions? Well, words for one thing. Good words are a bonus. The only problem is, whether the words are good or not is extremely difficult to tell.

I mean, if it were easy to know what the best part of the story was, we wouldn’t have pieces of advice like ‘kill your darlings,’ would we?