A sampling from Flavorwire’s The Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors:

Vladimir Nabokov preferred the Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 for outlining his novels on index cards.

Hemingway balanced his writing between a simple pencil and typewriter..

Jack Kerouac favored pocket notebooks and old school composition journals…

Neil Gaiman uses a fountain pen…

Simone de Beauvoir has been photographed using Sheaffer Snorkel Triumph, Sheaffer’s Snorkel, and an Esterbrook fountain pen…

Stephen King once described his Waterman fountain pen as “the world’s finest word processor.”

Twain favored custom, leather-bound, tabbed notebooks, which he designed.

Dylan Thomas used the popular Parker 51 fountain pen, which was touted for its fast-drying ink.

John Steinbeck was a pencil addict.  He adored the famous Blackwing pencil, but he also favored the Mongol 480…

Jane Austen used a quarto stationer’s notebook bound with “quarter tanned sheep over boards sided with marble paper. The edges of the leaves [were] plain cut and sprinkled red.” (BONUS – her ink recipe is included…)

Truman Capote: “I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand… Then I type a third draft on yellow paper, a very special certain kind of yellow paper.”

Charles Dickens used standard black ink (now faded brown) until the 1840s, when he switched to blue ink. He often used blue paper.

jackKerouac at work with his old notebooks stacked beside him
Photo credit: Fred DeWitt –
Orange County Regional History Center

More author’s tools, photos, and details here...

You know what I use…but been thinking about that old IBM Selectric waiting patiently in the basement…

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