You might be surprised to know that I do the majority of my first draft away from my desk or computer.
I use an Alphasmart Neo 2 for drafting, and I love the comfortable keyboard AND the fact that there is no internet and thus no distractions.
I keep the Alphasmart, my printed progress, and my outline in a giant fabric binder with a strap that I found.
Here’s the binder:
Then, on the other side I can clip in my writing, and there’s enough room for the Alphasmart to sit and be zipped in safely. It’s upside down here because it fits best with the wide part towards the center.
My working outline:
And my print outs:
The Alphasmart has limited space AND if something were to happen to it, it would lose my writing. So every night I upload the text to Scrivener and then print out the new scenes so I can reference them while writing. Then I delete all but the file I’m working in. There are 8 possible file slots in the Alphasmart.
These are the cables it uses, and it’s really a keylogger. You plug it in, click into a document, and hit send. Then it ‘writes’ your novel quickly across the screen as if you were typing them. This takes a while AND you can’t use the computer because if you click away it will lose everything and try to dump the text somewhere weird, and you’ll have to start over.
And then a peek at the screen:
I take this over to my parents’ house and sit and write, or I’ll sit on the couch in my house away from my computer. I love this set up, and it works really well for me. The only downside is that Alphasmart Neo 2s are getting harder and harder to find.
How do you write your first draft?