Writing is just like baking, isn't it? First, you need to clear the counter and take the time. Perhaps that means softening butter in preparation (just like the musings you might have about storylines or characters near to your heart?) Then don't you need to double-check your ingredients? Without flour, sugar, eggs, etc, you might only be able to create wallpaper paste or papermache goop. I relate these ingredients to your story elements such as setting (landscape, location, social surroundings), your inciting incident (those elements that ignite your writing) as well as any research necessary (as with my latest poetry/colouring book, DEVOTIONS).
So, I've been baking these last few days and what I noticed was that often you have to beat those ingredients together to make a smooth and consistent blend. Experience is helpful. But practice doesn't hurt. My Y/A novella, ENOUGH (free for the reading on WATTPAD.com) started life as an experiment (from a workshop exercise that Alissa York gave us). I had my incident and decided to see just how far this storyline would go "in the proverbial oven" by allowing in the range of 35 characters to each have a voice in telling the tale (in alternating chapters). Sometimes your creations will fall flat during the cooking/baking process. And sometimes they rise beyond your wildest dreams!
Well, back to the cookies. These latest ones needed to chill a little. Always a good part of the process. There was a large amount of shaping involved. My metaphor's holding up nicely. Bake time is important. Writers often wish a project would come together quickly, painlessly. Take note, that butt-in-chair time is a required element. Projects might take longer than anticipated to be "done". Don't fret.
As you see my delectables have embellishments. Editing is always necessary. Think of the rounds of edit-work as sugar-coating or chocolate drizzle. It only improves the finished product. ENOUGH is embellished with music videos (check it out); DEVOTIONS combines poetry, colouring and stickers. Weaving creative elements together will impress the palate.
Whatever your genre; your project; your process, you can't go wrong with a chef's patience. Good luck and happy kitchen-time!
Wow, December's moving at lightning speed! Last weekend's launch of Devotions was fun and I thank everyone who's supported this little project of mine (from as far off as Hong Kong!)
And this Saturday, I'll be at the WCDR networking meeting with books-in-bag (available from 9-11 am at the Centre For Food, Durham College Whitby Campus. Hope to see you there!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS and COLOUR YOUR WORLD !!