Please Kill Me,
Hello there and happy Monday my tyrannically type-obsessed peers. (As per my court mandated sensitivity training), I hope that you’re all doing spectacularly, (did they get the sarcasm?). However, should your weekend have been fraught with peril -I offer to you, some more sociopathic writing advice.
Recipe- (commonly referred to, as the reason Colonel Sanders is on the FBI watch list. #KFC #BucketofSadness).
It can be difficult to come up with a story idea that breaks the mold and kills the tropes of yesteryear, and for good reason. The old tropes are there because they work, as I’ve said a million times before (and several other times -while screaming at children).
But -just because facts are facts- doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to innovate anyway. Playing with the norm is how we get rockets, virtual goggles, (double-ply toilet paper?), etc. If you do decide to embark on the mission of becoming the Steve Jobs of literature, (#NerdJesus), might I humbly suggest starting with your story’s recipe.
The recipe, (at least in the context that I’m using it) is the culmination of the major and minor elements of your story.
Picture your blank screen as a boiling pot (you choose the liquid #Don’tBeGross). You add your main ingredient -the conflict. Next are your salts and sugars -protagonists & antagonists. Then, let’s say, next is the cream – the stakes. And…uhh (okay, you got me. I don’t bake. Screw this metaphor!).
The point is this -rather than focus on creating a story from the outside inward – try instead building from within, by developing each individual part of what will become your narrative.
By doing this you gain an abundance of knowledge -not only about your characters- but the story, and how it should be told, (or: what detail should be included or intentionally left out of the final draft). Having all of these bases covered is crucial.
Though the depths to which you must dive could go unappreciated by some readers, don’t fret. This method is meant to improve your understanding (or unveil some truths that may not have been initially apparent). This process (recipe?) will allow you to write your story in the context of deep understanding, as well as assist you in creating a more thoroughly developed whole (#Giggity).
Hemingway once compared his writing to an iceberg “one-ninth on the surface, and the rest beneath the ocean”. The reader only needs to see the finished product, but as the creator – it’s your obligation to create a steady, cohesive foundation- and write thusly. We should listen to Hemingway,( ya’ know – everything except for the pickled liver, shotgun to the face stuff).
Studying your recipe (though at first tedious and annoying) is essential to anyone wishing to write from the all-powerful position of the omniscient author. ( Trust me, you will rue the day when the audience knows your work better then you do #GeorgeLucas).
So maybe let’s not take a “flight of fancy” by whimsy writing until the inevitable wall of writer’s block pisses in our soup (too many metaphors?). Instead, take a day to put in the work of building from within. Start with the recipe, and then bake the ABSOLUTE SHIT out of it. Couldn’t hurt to try.
*puts on apron*
*removes laptop from oven*
Happy Baking (Writing?),