Friday, September 10, 2010

Cookies and Writing

Are you ready for a mouth watering post? I am, and I've only written about ten words so far. Just thinking about cookies will do that to a person though.

So I've been thinking a lot about writing lately. (When am I not.) The components, voice and construction of taking a tantalizing thought and turning it into something I can hold in my hands; almost taste, it's so sweet and satisfying. Just like cookies.

So here's my recipe for writing...I mean making cookies...I mean...well, okay here we go. (And yes, the picture is of a real batch of cookies made in this very house. D2 made them. I taught her how. Just like I'm doing with her very own book.)

  • This is the beginning. I want a cookie. I want it bad. Bad enough to make it myself because the store is too far away and mine will taste better than someone else's anyway. Or at least different. And different is good.

So what kind will I make? aka Genre

  • There is a vast variety to choose from, with some people choosing to enjoy only one type to exclusion of all others. Others find themselves sampling a vast variety, sometimes one on top of the other. :o) What I choose to write is going to appeal to some, but maybe not all. Maybe nobody but myself. And that's okay, too.

Ingredients vs Components

  • The ingredients for a cookie differ as widely as the content of one's novel, but there's a few basics you need to have for each one. Beginning. Middle. End. Flour. Eggs. Salt. Or is it chocolate, oatmeal and butter? Anyway, for fantasy you need something uh...fantastical. A Myth, a beast or two, or something other worldly that makes you rethink the realm you currently live in. And then makes you want to hide. Or embrace it. Or whatever. Romance? That's chocolate all the way baby. If it's got lots of chocolate it's a romance. If it's a new type of cookie it might take people a while to delve in. But when they do and enjoy it? They'll rave endlessly and you'll have more people wanting a sample than you know what to do with!

Construction versus Style

  • My mom made cookies by hand. I use a mixer. Our cookies each came out a little different, yet people still enjoyed them equally as well. If you asked two people to write about the exact same topic and even gave them a recipe (plot, characters, timeline), their cookies would not come out the same. That's called style. Each person has their own, and it changes the dynamics of a story big time! Some like the cake-like texture of my mom's version. Others love the creamier, softer stuff made by my electric mixer. I've even noticed that they TASTE different when they're done. Weird. But true. Sometimes style makes all the difference in the world.

  • My chocolate chip cookies bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes (on the nose). The sugar cookies bake at 400 for 8 minutes. The drop cookies don't even require an oven! Of course if my husband is baking the cookies he might leave them in a little longer depending on how how crispy he wants them to be (as in, "I want some dunking cookies tonight.") Talk about too many hands in the cookie pot. But alas, this too is like writing and is not all bad. Agents, editors and publishers will also want a say in the book's final product, so of course the time it's going to take a lot of work and patience to get a book from start to finish.

Finished product

Worth it. Enough said


  1. A wonderful, mouth-watering analogy. Dang. I wonder if I have all the ingredients to make cookies?

  2. I'm WAY behind on blog reading, but I had to let you know how much I love this cookie analogy. I've been asking myself lately, "Why am I even writing this? The story's been done countless times." But now I know why I have to finish: my own brand of cookie. Some people won't like it as much as other kinds, but some people will like it better. Or even love it.



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