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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Perfect Inks, Pens, and Paper for Novel Writers

This blog post was written by Katy Campbell, one of our Goulet Team Members and customer service woman extraordinaire! 

Want to write your masterpiece without being a slave to the computer screen? You’re not alone. Customers tell us all the time how using a fountain pen brings the joy back to writing. If you’re looking to do any sort of long-form writing, or you’re even participating in the annual National Novel Writers Month, here are our top picks for products to make your words, and ink, flow flawlessly.

Manuscript Paper – Leuchtturm1917 Master

For novel writing, the Leuchtturm1917 Master is the way to go. It offers all the pages you need to detail your sonnets, prose, and other works of literary genius. The Leuchtturm1917 features a whopping 233 pages of lined, blank, dot, or graph ivory paper that doesn’t bleed. Each page is numbered and there’s even an index in the front so that you can section off chapters or different projects. Plus, there’s a pocket for you to keep notes and bits of inspiration. Another nice feature is that the last few pages are perforated, so you can brainstorm away without worrying about muddling your manuscript. The Leuchtturm1917 is the perfect escape from the keyboard. Take a step back and enjoy writing in the same way as your favorite classics.

Fountain Pen – Low Price Point – Pilot Metropolitan

Let’s talk about a classic pen that is worthy of your craft. The Pilot Metropolitan is one of our favorite pens to recommend and it is the perfect way to dip your nib into the world of fountain pens. It has a classy yet utilitarian feel to it. It is what we like to call a workhorse. At $15.00, the Metropolitan is the easiest way to invest in a new hobby. The Metropolitan comes with a cartridge converter that will allow you to use all of the lovely bottled inks available. If the ideas are pouring and the ink is flowing it will be hard to put this one down.

Fountain Pen – Medium Price Point - Lamy Al-Star

If you are looking for a great beginner pen that will stick with you through the end, the Lamy Al-Star is all that you need. It is one of the most popular models for first-time fountain pen users. It has a lightweight modern feel that won’t bog you down during long writing sessions. And if you are writing a novel in a month you know there will be long writing sessions.



Fountain Pen – Higher Price Point – Monteverde Invincia

The Monteverde Invincia is just that — invincible. It is classic, hefty, and ready to write whenever you are. The Invincia is a statement and investment into your craft. When you stroke the final sentence, be sure to take a picture of this beautiful pen on the title page. It’s sure to inspire a conversation wherever you share it.




Fountain Pen Ink – Basic Black – Noodler’s Black

Simple, black, and waterproof. Noodler’s Black is one of the most popular black inks available. It is easy to write with and won’t budge once you lay it down onto the page. The bottle arrives literally filled to the brim with potential (so be careful when you open it). We dare you to write long enough that you use this entire bottle in a month.




Fountain Pen Ink – Color - Diamine Ancient Copper

Who says you have to write with black ink? One of the benefits of using a fountain pen is experimenting with color. Diamine Ancient Copper will harken back in time and your manuscript will have a warm antique feel. The deep brown color will often vary in shade between each letter from “Once upon a time” to “The End”.




Fountain Pen Ink – Scented - De Atramentis Plum

For the ultimate writing pleasure, why not try a scented ink? De Atramentis Plum will add an extra element to your writing experience that you can only get with a fountain pen. The scent is purely for your own enjoyment. As you pass your book off to the editor and your readers, they will only see the unique deep blue color and the smell will fade away. It will really tap into your senses and every time you smell plums you will remember how good it felt to pour out your thoughts onto the page.


Of course these are just some of our favorites. There are millions of different combinations of pens, ink, and paper for you to experiment with. The most important thing is that you feel inspired!

So, how about you? What do you keep at your desk when you want to sit down and write for a while? Let's talk about it in the comments.

32 comments:

  1. Neil Gaiman uses a Lamy 2000. He says it's "happy writing a novel"
    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2003/12/manifestly-not-post-with-tee-shirts-in.asp

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  2. I'm actually going to order a bottle of Diamine Graphite for my NaNo. I'm pondering a matching pen purchase...but my "book writing pen" is the sturdy, high capacity Lamy 2k

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  3. You can't go wrong with Noodler's black or black eel. I've tried almost every black ink out there.
    Noodler's does black right.

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  4. Katy, wonderful review! I recently got Ancient Copper from Goulet and love its unique and striking color, but I love with Noodler's Black for its permanence and the wonderful way it performs in all my pens. I love your pen choices. The Leuchtturm1917 Master must have more pages than any of the quality paper hardback notebooks out there. Now that I've retired, life is too short to use cheap paper! My next Clairfontaine notebook from Goulet Pens will arrive tomorrow! Thanks Katy

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  5. Awesome post! I use Ancient Copper all the time. I haven't touched my lone bottle of black ink in years.

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  6. I'm so glad I found this post. I am very impatiently waiting for the mailman to deliver a bottle of ink for me. I've decided to try using a fountain pen as a sort of writing treat. Since I am new to the fountain pen world I had no idea there was scented ink. So excited to discover that!

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  7. I'm glad that you guys did this post. I am excited about NaNoWriMo, but unfortunately, my latest order (Lamy Studio and ink) did not reach Japan until after I flew out to the US for two months of school. I'll press on with my Safari and Creeper Flex.


    Right now, I am using a spiral bound Rhodia. It is a little small, but the way that the ink lays down on the paper is absolutely amazing. For inks, I alternate between a Noodler's Bulletproof black for the main prose and Bad Blue Heron for any notes/mark ups.


    Thanks for all that you do.


    Josh P.

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  8. This post makes me want to leave my keyboard and write in living color! Great review and beautifully crafted words for the products

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  9. Welcome to the world of fountain pens..it's a fun one! I hope you love the ink that is on the way. It always seem like the mailman takes forever to arrive when you are really excited about something new. :)

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  10. Thank you so much Tom, that's really encouraging! Enjoy your new Clairefontaine notebook..it is some of my favorite paper.

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  11. Clara- the TWSBI Vac700 in smoke would look AWESOME with Diamine Graphite! ;) And it is a great work horse pen.

    http://www.gouletpens.com/TWSBI_Vac_700_Fountain_Pens_s/1124.htm

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  12. De Atramentis Plum is an indispensable colour (not like any plum I've ever eaten, but kind of Squeteague-only-better) and I love it, but the scent is awfully synthetic, like the fake fruit smell of sour candies. (Their Blackcurrant and Blackberry have the same problem.) I know it doesn't last, but while it does, I think it should be more pleasant.


    For a combination of colour plus scent, I like their Frankincense (smoke grey + grimy incense), Tobacco (mid-brown + real tobacco), Lavender (stunning blue + lavender-water), and Dianthus (vicious burgundy-pink + perfect carnation).

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  13. Thank you for doing this post about NaNoWriMo! This will be my 5th year participating in NaNo and I had already decided to use notebooks and pens for the initial draft - typing in for the word count as I did a first edit. It will allow for my doodling and is ever so much easier on my eyes than the computer screen. Thank you! I am definitely looking at new notebooks and I might just have to get the Pilot Metro as well... Everything happens in November! NaNoWriMo and Fountain Pen Day! and Thanksgiving! Three of my favorite things!

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  14. And now I have discovered your ink sample pages. Oh my, I feel a new obsession taking root!

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  15. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I bought a couple of Leuchtturm notebooks a while back and I found the paper quality to be absolutely abhorrent. It feathered like mad--worse than any cheap copy (or worse, Moleskine) paper I've ever used. Using a medium point Parker 51 and Noodler's HoD, I actually measured some feathers to be half a centimeter long! Never again!

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  16. Awesome! Love me some Lamy 2000...

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  17. I love Graphite, it surprisingly (or maybe not) looks just like a graphite pencil on paper. I didn't think I'd be into that, but I like it!

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  18. Amen to that, I just can't ever find much to complain about with Noodler's Black.

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  19. Yeah, that Master is quite a beast!

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  20. Haha...you're falling down the rabbit hole!

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  21. I love Rhodia, Clairefontaine as well. It's easy to get spoiled with these papers ;) Bummer about your pen! But the Safari is respectable and will see you through.

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  22. Great! Yeah, Katy did great with this post, hopefully she'll be up for doing some more ;)

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  23. Yeah, well there surely has to be limitations on the effectiveness of the scents used, since there are dyes and other things used in ink that probably mix with the scent. C'est la vie.

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  24. Awesome! If nothing else, using a pen could at least be a great tool for the initial planning/brainstorming stages. I totally get that editing isn't ideal with handwriting, but it does bring out a creative element of thinking and a pacing for your train of thought that a computer doesn't. Hand writing causes you to think more deliberately, as opposed to the stream of consciousness. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you're going for!

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  25. How long ago was this? Leuchtturm has undergone some paper changes over the last few years, the biggest one was probably two years ago. Check out the second video I made in this blog post, I didn't find the paper quality to be as good as Rhodia, but it was certainly better than Moleskine: http://www.inknouveau.com/2012/10/leuchtturm1917-notebooks.html

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  26. I'm more of an oxblood/red dragon girl myself, but maybe that's why I write horror. I do adore Plum, but agree that the scent is not it's strong point. (The ink itself is top notch, though.)


    I do think there's a conversation to be had about pens that are good in the hand a long time; for some reason, I like heavy pens for marathon session, but I'm not sure why.

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  27. Interesting, it may be time to give them another shot. I bought the notebooks exactly a year ago (Order date 11/7/12). Would that have affected the quality? Thanks!

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  28. Is there any difference between a "price" and a "price point"? Always reads as if the "point" is superfluous to the point.

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  29. Will you help me with blackest and freeflowing ink amongst parker sheaffer and lamy....also a fp of sailor or pilot with highest ink capacity and smootheness (medium and fine I need both):-)

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  30. Very Nice Blog

    Moleskine

    https://www.williampenn.net/

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  31. the one issue that both myself and my husband have with writing with a pen is that we are both left handed and that when we tend to use a pen we end up with a blotchy mess

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