App concept: A Word Recorder

If a word-processor is to words as a food-processor is to food, little wonder that so much writing is just mush.

Here’s an idea for a writing-processor application, a word-recorder — something quite different from a word-processor. Like a word-processor, you use it to type words into a computer, but it goes forward only.

No backspace. No mouse. No arrow keys. Works like a typewriter, only it doesn’t ding at the end of a line. Then it exports the words, spelin erros and all, in whatever choice of formats to a word-processor for editing. But it is for drafting,… forward only.

Inspired (not really, just plain stolen) by a comment I saw about the difference between using of a word-rprocessor and using a typewriter for writing. Typewriters are (mostly) forward-only. The backspacing, deleting, correcting possibilities are so tedious and diversionary on a typewriter that they’re just not worth the bother while you’re drafting, so you just keep hammering onwards. And that’s just what you want during story ideation phase. Aside: I get, now, why my mother — who worked as a copy-typist in her youth — would, at the start of any typing session, insert a blank sheet of paper and type a page of any old rubbish. Then she’d throw the page away. It was a way of warming up the fingers, of warming up the brain so that the typing becomes entirely automatic and unconscious, error rates much reduced. Ah, the days when cut and paste, really meant something.

The other thing I would do with my typewriter-mode app would be No Formatting! No bold, italic, underline. No headings. It’s even more rigid than a simple text editor. The only feature I would add over what a typewriter can offer would be a live wordcount.

It won’t suit everybody, but then, what does?