I recently had a conversation on Twitter with another writer. NaNoWriMo prompted the conversation. We both had attempted NaNo in the past. (Mine was in May and not part of the official November NaNo.)
The conversation left me pondering the many ways writers prepare--or cook--their stories.
Every writer is different, just as every cook is different. We each have our preferred methods, our secret ingredients, our own assessment of when it's cooked to perfection.
Oh, how I'd love to crack open a couple characters, drop them into a bowl, scramble up some plot and setting and cook in less than a minute by pressing "1" on the Microwave oven's keypad. I could crank out books like McDonald's cranks out fries.
But no. I cook like Grandma. Turn the heat on 4. Let simmer. Stir. Add plot potatoes. Stir again. Simmer some more. Lift lid and take a whiff. Needs pepper. Maybe some oregano. Back the heat down to low and turn in for the night. The next morning, stir again and serve slow-roasted-story for lunch.
Perhaps some stories need to be cooked differently? But where one measures every 1/8 teaspoon, another uses a pinch. Where one sets the timer, another watches the oven. Some folks disappear for hours in a steamy kitchen while others bask in nature's warmth.
Cover with frosting? Baste in a sugary glaze? Bathe it in butter? Oh my goodness, everything's better with butter!
We all want sizzling settings and satisfying stories. Broil them, broil them, serve them in a stew! Chill the plot like pudding until it thickens. Dazzle your readers with distinctive description like seasoning.
But I can't serve them raw! Stories aren't fruit. They need to be prepared.
Regardless of how you cook your stories, cook them well. Serve them hot and spicy. Make us come back for seconds. Fill the kitchen with the aromas only your masterpieces have. Let us taste your mouthwatering brilliance.
You're the artist, the chef, the baker of the best books in town.
How do you cook your stories?