Friday, October 30, 2009


Dear Friend,

It is a kind of love that keeps us writers producing outpourings of exudations, always trying to find the most descriptive words and concise grammar.

Especially, when we have a story to follow, that is, our chapter outline, it is sometimes difficult to concentrate on dealing with an incident whilst our mind is already racing away, far ahead of your story.

Labouring under the requirements of strict discipline, I have developed a method that works very well for me: that of using ‘snippets’.

Still perusing the chapter outline of our future book, I have the habit of writing in script mode any detail I just feel like writing. Whatever comes to my mind and in whatever mood I am at the time. This is what I term the ‘creative moment’ and this should not be resisted or subliminated by writing about something else as we would lose what I term ‘Quality’.

Having finished my writing, I state on top of the paper the name ‘snippet number 1, underneath the subject or topic and the result of my word count. After which I file it away in a document file called ‘snippets’.

These snippets do not need to filed in any particular order, however, they will arraign themselves numerically in their folder.

After which I write about the next subject I feel in the mood for.

Of course, I mark off my chapter outline the incident I have just put on paper and it always gives me satisfaction to see the marked sections grow and the subjects I still have to write about slowly diminish.

Once every incident and chapter is dealt with, I then start with the actual manuscript. After establishing my header and footer and take care of page numbering, I simply paste the snippets in the correct sequence into my manuscript. This done, I read through everything and sometimes discover the need to ‘cement’ the various snippets together with the correct words and phrases.

An improvement of this method is to note down first a list of incidents, happenings or subjects you wish to write about. This list of snippets needs to be ticked-off as you deal with them.

And the word count will inform you whether your publication is voluminous enough for your planned end result.

This method of working with snippets stands me in good stead and I can only recommend it to anybody who wishes to establish a kind of order or system in the creation of a valued piece of literature!

Peter Frederick

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