Following the writer through the document: Encoding contemporary writing processes in TEI-XML

Lamyk Bekius

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


Most contemporary literary writers compose their texts in a digital environment, using a word processor. This digital environment hides the writing operations (Mathijsen 2009; Vauthier 2016). In the project ‘Track Changes: Textual Scholarship and the challenge of digital literary writing’, a collaboration between the Huygens ING and University of Antwerp, we use the keystroke logging tool Inputlog to collect data about the writing processes of contemporary authors without interfering the writing process itself (Leijten & Van Waes 2013). The data from Inputlog allows us to reconstruct the digital literary writing processes. The output of Inputlog is twofold. It saves the document as it is at the beginning of the writing session and at the end of each writing session, resulting in a ‘session-version’ for each session. But it also registers every keystroke and mouse movement in combination with a timestamp. This dual output offers a challenge for the analysis of the writing process. In analogue text versions, the process of the writing is visible in the strikethrough words, additions and substitutions. But for those contemporary writing processes logged with Inputlog, the process data needs to be combined with the session-versions in order to visualise the revisions and to see the transformation from one ‘session-version’ to the next ‘session-version’. In this paper I will present how I combine the session-versions and the logging data in TEI-XML, paying attention to an extra aspect gained from the Inputlog-data: time. As every keystroke is complemented with a timestamp, the writer can potentially be ‘followed through the document’. In doing this, I will focus on the writing processes of one Dutch and one Flemish writer as case studies to examine the central question: How and in what sequence were the narratives constructed?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2019
EventESTS 2019: 16th Annual Conference of the European Society for Textual Scholarship - University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
Duration: 28 Nov 201929 Nov 2019


ConferenceESTS 2019
Abbreviated titleESTS 2019
Internet address


  • Textual Scholarship
  • Digital editing
  • Genetic criticism
  • Keystroke logging


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