X-posted from FFF – the topic was how has the internet changed the compositional process.
How the internet has changed my writing. Hmm. Let me see … oh, wait, here’s a new message! Better check it out! Wow! A great deal on worms for the compost! …uh, back now. Hmm. So many people are going to read this, I’d better get the right answer. If I get the wrong one, it’ll keep coming back to cyberhaunt me forever. Golly. Maybe I should Google myself to see what people are saying and try and work from there. Ah, another message. Better go read that.
Okay, concentrate. How has the internet changed my writing? It does give me instant look-up for all kinds of facts. I can spend hours looking stuff up…hours and hours…it’s good to find a bunch of sources and then cross-check them to make sure they’re reliable ’cause you just never know who put them up and then maybe checking with a regular library might be a good idea, which I do the minute I stop fooling around eBay.
Oh, another message … Wow, I didn’t know the human body could do that.
Seriously, folks, I don’t know that the Internet has changed my actual writing style or the way I write my books, but then being a natural Luddite, I started out writing longhand. The benefits to me have been the breadth of exposure to other writers, on-line critique groups (waves to anyone tuning in who belongs to the OWG), and access to coaches and classes I would not have otherwise enjoyed.
However, there are distractions, like email and endless surfing, that slow me down. If I’m in the mood to procrastinate, it’s deadly.
As a sidebar, I wonder if the Internet has changed readers. It seems to me the long, complex books are a harder sell these days—at least in genre fiction. I’m not an expert on these things, but I wonder sometimes if the Internet, along with other electronic media, is one of the many factors that have created an audience eager for faster-paced, edgier books. Has the need to keep up with the pace of information changed our tolerance for slower, more subtle writing?