Quentin Tarantino Handwrites his Scripts, More on Handwriting Stories and Books

by Mike Shea on 17 March 2005

More and more I find great writers talking about the advantages of pen and paper over asshole computers. Here's some propaganda from the Papermate website:

"It's a little known fact that Quentin Tarantino hand writes all of his scripts with a set of three red and three black retro-styled Flair pens. It's no wonder that the Paper Mate black and red Flairs were given a "supporting role" in Kill Bill Vol. 1 as Uma Thurman's weapon of choice when she composes her hit list -- laying the premise for Kill Bill Vol.2. When discussing his writing stylei, the moviemaker affirmed, "I'm not superstitious in my normal life, but I kind of get superstitious about the methods of writing ... it's the way I started doing it, so that becomes the way. My rituals are that I don't use a typewriter or a computer. I write by hand, and what I'll do - it's a ceremony, actually - I go to a stationery store and I buy a notebook. Then, I'll buy a bunch of red and black felt pens. And I'm like, 'These are the pens that I'm going to write Kill Bill with!'""

It appears that Papermate Flairs are not waterproof, acid free, or fade resistant. I don't think I'd switch to them over the G2.

I also found out that Journalismo had quoted a previous entry of mine (original) and had a lot of great commments including one from the author Jeff Abbot who stated:

"I found when I moved to writing novels full-time after many years in the advertising business, I could not easily shake the habit of multi-tasking--writing, checking email, web surfing, etc. Multitasking felt like productivity when it was simply an obstacle to getting real writing done. Writing requires focus, and I think a notebook and a pen give you that far more than a computer does. I would not want to rewrite without a computer--but to get that critical first draft done for my next book (my ninth novel), I'm thinking of a Moleskine and a G-2 (my Lamy Safari pens tend to bleed too much on the paper.)"

I just finished a 45 page short story, "The Wolf God of Gloomwillow Wood", in a Renaissance Art leather journal using my Waterman Phileas filled with Noodler's black ink. I found that my new Pilot Vanishing Point with the fine point was perfect for a Moleskine but not so good on the rough pages of the Arches Text Wove paper of the leather journal. I ordered a medium point replacement for it so now I'll have both nib widths and a spare in case something horrible happens to one of them. Another nice thing about the Vanishing Point is that the entire nib assembly comes out of the pen and can be replaced for $20 from Pilot's website.

I'm flying out to Boston tomorrow to visit my mom and George. I'm in a bit of a panic about my pen. You aren't supposed to take fountain pens on an airplane unless they are empty or they burst. I can't leave my new pen at home, though, right in the middle of my love affair with it, so I'll probably drain it, wrap the nib separately, and take it with me wrapped in cloth. When I get there I'll fill it and use it and when I come home again I'll drain it again and use the same process to take it home.

That's one clear advantage of the $1 gel-ink pens. They are really maintenance free. Just use them, toss them, buy another, take them anywhere, whatever, they will work just fine. Damned progress!