Recently, we asked authors to share their writing strategies with us. No two people write exactly the same, and we wanted to get tips from successful authors to share with others. Here’s what Chrissi Sepe had to say:
When I write, I begin with pen and paper rather than on computer. I like to transfer my thoughts and feelings out of my body and onto the page through the physical connection of pen on paper. Seeing the style of my handwriting strokes helps reveal my mood to me too. First, I empty my initial flashes of thought in outline form or fragments onto the paper and then rework what I have into sentences. I use this method whether I’m working on a short story, book review, novel, or essay.
Often, I’ll complete two handwritten drafts, reworking, adding and crossing out the parts I don’t want. Next, I’ll transfer what is often a mess onto the computer screen. Even though it’s a mess, it’s my mess, unique to me, and I know my emotions have gone fully into my work before I make it neat and mold it into something that must be edited for others to comprehend. Once it is in its edited form, I’ll read it over and over until I can’t stand reading it any longer. That’s when it’s time to “let it cool,” the same way I’d take a cake out of the oven. It isn’t ready for consumption and enjoyment by me or anyone else until it cools, so I’ll wait a period of time, then go back to test if it’s ready.
After at least one full day, I’ll pick it up again and read my writing with fresh eyes. Sometimes, I’m happily surprised that it’s turned out cleaner than I’d expected. But other times, I’ll realize I’ve missed my mark and have to rework it all over again. It’s amazing how different my writing is after I’ve let it cool. This process is essential in order to get a realistic sense of what the readers will see when they pick up my writing for the first time.
In essence, my messy handwritten notes and messy thoughts and the feel of my writing is what I put first and foremost. Next is a relentless reworking and many rereads. Finally, a cooling off period leading to the last edits until I’m ready to share my cake with the world.
We really enjoy Chrissi’s cooking comparison. Every book is a feast for the eyes, the painstaking product of assembling all the right ingredients. Keep cooking Chrissi!
Check out some of Chrissi’s work:
“A Cafe In Space, Volume 13. Anais Nin – A Recipe for Immortality” an essay
“Bliss, Bliss, Bliss” a novel
“Iggy Gorgess” a novel
If you have a strategy you want to share, leave a comment for us