View Full Version : Using tablet PC for novel writing
11-20-2007, 10:21 AM
Hi. Total newbie here. Can anyone comment on using a tablet PC for writing book-length manuscripts? I enjoy creating first drafts in longhand, using pen and legal pads. I don't enjoy having to type the hundreds of pages I produce. And then once those pages are typed, I print them and once again pick up a pen to edit in longhand - which means more voluminous typing from extremely messy copy. Typing/creating directly on my laptop just isn't as comfortable as curling up in a chair with a pad and pen. But is my dream of curling up in a chair with a tablet PC unrealistic? Can I scribble endlessly, then push a button to convert it to TEXT? Then can I scribble/edit/delete/add handwritten notes to that converted TEXT?
I am going to order a general-purpose book from Amazon about Tablet PCs, but the books they list are several years old, and technology changes so blinking fast that I wasn't certain if my questions would be covered properly. Thanks in advance for help.
11-20-2007, 11:57 AM
I've used my Fujitsu Stylistic to write a number of articles and have been working on a book manuscript -- I use RitePen for HWR and rarely have a keyboard attached.
11-21-2007, 10:26 AM
I don't have a TabPc yet, but in all my recent research for doing TabPcArt, I have stumbled into forums and sites that have addressed your topic. Unfortunately as wonderful as the TabPc is, it don't get no (much) respect ... so these forums and member post are the BEST resource.
you may want to search the web for info on One Note ( i think that is the name of it) from microsoft, a program for handwritting notes letters, etc .. on a TabPc
Also, if you look long enough you may actually see a video of a TabPc in action converting hand writting to text .. especially check out the 'ink show' at www.gottabemobile.com , they have done some very nice 20+ reviews of different TabPcs. Even if the topic of the video isn't about handwritting to text, during the video review sometimes they will show it in action. Also, another great site iswww.tabletpcreview.com/. GOOD LUCK and don't give up ... the TabPc is the way to go.
If anyone out there has a link to a previous thread on this topic, or a link to a video demonstration ,please post it here for KathyH
Also, any experienced TabPc writers, please jump in too ...
11-21-2007, 12:38 PM
I am an extensive user of OneNote on Vista using handwriting. I write journals, not novels, but I have no doubt that you could do exactly what you want to do on a tablet pc. You would probably want to convert to text daily, or weekly, or at the end of each chapter, rather than waiting to do the whole novel at once. But the handwriting recognition in Vista is excellent. You can train it to recognize your handwriting. Works great. Maybe you should contact Allegiance Technologies. They do 48 hour trials, so you could experiment with it and see what works for you.
11-25-2007, 08:27 AM
This weekend on HSN (home shopping network) they were selling the Gateway Tablet (for $150 MORe than website) and in the demo they specifically showed the translastion from handwritten words to text ... it was during one of their electronics shows, so you may want to tune in or look on their website for future 'shows' .... it was the FIRST time I saw the handwriting to typed text and I thought it was amazing!
Just what you are looking for ...
01-01-2008, 10:25 AM
Well I just got my TabPc (M1400 used on Ebay for $422 plus shipping) and while I was messing around with it, i rembered your post and thought I'd report back ....
Your dream of curling up with a TabPc and doing handwritten manscripts and *easily* converting to text, then editing on the same TabletPc is only as far away as you writing a check to cash in on it ... REALLY!
The WinXpTabPcOs's TIPS interface will make ANY tablet (convertible or slate) a great tool for you! ...it even helps with spelling
Whether you use JOURNAL or TIPS within a Word processing program, you just can't go wrong ... to be able to do long hand and EASILY convert to text will save you bunches of time ...
Go to my thread link http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=36341
and get to page 4 or 5 where I go into more detail about TIPS ... it is *spooky* good ... I actually took a picture of how well it reads my really bad handwritting and can email it to you if you are interested ...
My advice after just using the TIPS for a day or two is that
The TabPc will save you SOOOOO MUCH TIME ... get one ASPAP
Good luck and let us know how it goes ...
01-01-2008, 10:53 AM
Even my 2003 Motion M1300 slate runs Vista beautifully. They can be grabbed on eBay around $300. I just bought in the classifieds here a HP TC1100 for $350. Complete outfits with docking station (author's desktop dream) are on eBay for $500-800. The TC1100 STILL is ranked one of 10 best tablets ever. I've never even seen one, mine arrives in two days. I doubt it won't impress me also as much as my Motion, the first slate I ever even saw in person. These 1Gz 1st generation Centrino tablets that commanded $2,500 3-4 years ago are THE sleeper deals now. My Motion is by far the finest laptop I have used. It's looks and size still are stunning in 2007. 90% assume it is that Apple tablet speculated about since 2003. 99.9% never heard of Motion brand. Dual core fever now has created huge used surplus. There's endless stream of TC1100 and M1300-1400 slates on eBay and prices are falling.
The handwriting recognition and tablet features in general are significantly improved with Vista. As good as XP TIP works, Vista's is AMAZING! Handwriting recognition learns over time, is trainable and one's personal database can be saved and even ported over to new tablet. With Vista and OneNote 2007 truly an author's dream setup. The fact that 1Gz tablets CAN run Vista is hidden except for few who really know. This is one of the handful websites on entire web.
01-01-2008, 11:22 AM
Well if Tips runs a lot Better on Vista, then it must just take your thoughts right out of your head and port it directly onto the screen.... "cause TIPS on my XP is blowing my mind every time I use it!
01-01-2008, 11:52 AM
I spent about 6 hours "training" Vista's handwriting recognition engine with 500 sentences interaction over several sessions, taking the out-of-box results to another level. I wrote an article about using Easy Transfer to backup training and was curious how deep one could get. Actually, an hour doing the 1st 50 sentence session is all needed for dramatic results.
I can essentially scrawl anything anyway and get results from that extra customization. The really tricky recognition isn't long words, those are literally 100%, it's short letter words, numbers, and context that training focuses on. It's simply remarkable excellence of design that got buried under the Aero hype at launch. Myriad of tiny or subtle refinements in user functions Vista also feature receive little notice a year later. For me, Vista makes XP feel antiquated whenever I boot back into it. It's useless still having XP, there is absolutely nothing missed.
For tablets, Vista Home Premium offers best value. The OEM version (no support, locked to single device) is $105 shipped at Newegg. Getting Vista running well on 1Gz hardware (minimum to even install) IS possible, despite typical advice otherwise. It takes care and effort and willingness to dismiss the negativity surrounding Vista.
One of the very best resources on Vista in these legacy tablets:
100% hysteria free and wonderfully authored by one of our members.
So, for around $500-600 one can own a legendary slate tablet running Vista with world-class guidance getting all set up. Your friends will be impressed. Actually, expect frequent interest by everyone. Four year old laptops should not and don't. Strangers started conversations seeing an iPhone for the first week. Slates are another level of cool and still will.
You deserve appreciation for your enthusiastic forum participation and applause single-handedly rekindling discussion for older tablets besides complaints and problems. I'm pretty sure this site remains the last resource where focus toward latest hardware didn't discourage used tablet buyers having a voice. It's odd talking hardware among $3,000 subjects. I've been around here too long to keep old discussion alive. I guess there's even fewer old tablet fans and willingness to invest the effort like you've shown here much too rare. I know all too well how long it actually takes crafting multiple paragraph posts. I usually write the really big ones in Notepad and paste in the text having lost hours in a web burp.
01-01-2008, 06:50 PM
Thanks Bhome1 !
Older used tablets to me are like Mustang cars ... sure I'd LOVE to drive a Corvette (equal to state-of-the-art TabPc) but the Mustangs will get done more than most (conventional Desktops and Laptops) every could ...and for the price it is the best bang for the buck.
And just as most car drivers would rarely use the full capabilities of a Corvette, most computer users would rarely need the state-of-the-art perfomance model TabPc capabilities... and would actually enjoy on a daily basis the advantages of the Mustang of computers , the used Tablet Pc.
In my humble opinion, ANY 512mb, 1 GHz WinXpTabPc 10" Tablet (convertible or slate) will totally change how *most* people think of and use thier computers ... there will always be those who need the top model, but they are few as most users don't have the software uses to fully take advantage of the top model's of the day
ps. By the way congrats Dawgs! (and sorry Hawaii, you did have a great year regardless of what happened at the Sugar bowl ... so be proud too!)
01-07-2008, 08:52 AM
I can offer you a few suggestions on TPCs (tablet PC) and writing.
It is a fantastic piece of hardware for writers. Revolutionary in fact.
All your notes can be kept in one place (backup everything though!). I recommend OneNote. OneNote allows you to store all of your research (i.e. internet based) in one place and categorize your notes/research. If you're writing fiction keep your chapter notes, character development, storyline, etc in seperate folders. Then when you're ready to write, (if you have a convertable), simply flip that screen upright, place your hands on the keyboard and jam!
You never run out of paper, space or ink! You always have everything you need to work. So, the TPC liberates you. Go to the coffee shop, airport, hotel, beach etc and never even worry about leaving even a sticky note behind. (Yes, TPCs have sticky notes too!)
Now all that said I want to caution against some of the advice I've read above. First of all I would NOT purchase a slate. Get a convertable TPC. Converting handwriting to text will sllllloooooowwwww you down! It stifles your creativity and turns your right brain left. There is no faster input than the keyboard. When you are in creative mode you need to pump it OUT! The last thing you want to do is focus your creativity on why the OS recognized your "i" as an "l". You need a keyboard!
The handwriting input offered by the TPC hardware platform is best for keeping notes - YOUR NOTES. Don't convert them to text. If you are the only one reading them, then why bother? On the rare occassion you have to share your notes, type them. Or write them neatly and convert them to PDF.
Yes Vista recognizes your handwriting better because of the training, but honestly most folks who store their notes on a TPC, and in particular writers, do not convert the notes to text. So don't feel like you have to go Vista if you're not ready for that OS.
Final thoughts... I absolutley love the TPC. I am forever sold on the platform. I love Macs and will not completely switch over to the Mac OS because the TPC is so awesome for writing.
01-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Thanks for the input, Stockmarket!
I agree that nobody should try to write anything of substance in the tip, converting as you go, but some of us still enjoy composing longhand. I can empathize with that, it took me years before typing came naturally enough to me that I wasn't mentally spelling out every word and messing up my thought processeses.
For a longhand writer, I would just write longhand, and when the chapter felt finished enough, and I wanted to polish or edit, then I would convert the text and clean it up, so that I could work toward a typeset manuscript.
Everybody has to find what works for them.
01-07-2008, 05:10 PM
You are so right, the conversion of ink is very helpful for those who create manuscripts/screenplays in longhand. I know David E. Kelly and Wayne Dyer still write screenplays and novels respectively using yellow notepads. So for the discrete few like yourself that do find their creative flow using this method the tablet is awesome.
I thought the original poster like most novices to the TPC was under the impression that ink needs to be converted to text. I can't remember the last time I converted ink (sans TIP for internet fields); butI remember when I received my first tablet I kept converting my ink until the thought dawned on marble head...Why, who is going to read these notes? LOL
06-04-2008, 06:03 PM
There is a blog that is mostly dedicated to technology as it concerns writers and they have a five-part series on Tablet PCs for Writers. Bet you find good info there.
Here's the first article. http://blog.litcentral.com/2008/05/16/tablet-pcs-a-writers-infinite-desktop-part-i-of-v/
07-05-2008, 03:10 PM
I have wondered if there are any professional writers using Wacom's Cintiq?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.