Welcome to today’s GOOD STORY cooking lesson!
Why are you chopping those carrots?! What’s with those string beans?
OH MY GOD!!! Wake up, people!!!
This isn’t that type of cooking lesson! I’m not inviting anyone to Sunday brunch!
We’re not roasting a chicken, or baking an apple pie!
This lesson is about writing a good story, in all its simplicity. Writing is a craft that is comparable to cooking. Both require specific ingredients, the right amount of cooking time, and small pinches of exotic flavor to tantalize the taste buds.
Excusez – moi, but I don’t eat French.
Cooking is an art that not everyone can master. I know everyone’s mom is a great cook (including mine). But let’s just leave mom out of this for now. Cooking requires patience, it requires skill, and it requires the ability to think out of the box.
There is no such thing as wrong cooking, unless the end product looks and tastes like crap. Also, there is no such thing as a bad cook.
Okay, I take my words back and eat them too. HEY!! They don’t taste bad!
It all depends upon the ability, creativity and consistency of the person donning the chef’s apron. Some may think that a hamburger is just a hamburger, two pieces of bun containing a cooked patty.
NO hamburger!!! You’re so much more than that!
It’s all about experimenting with a product that has already been designed. Why are some burger joints more popular than others? Why do people line up to buy Joe’s Burgers instead of Jeff’s Burgers? Do they love Joe more than Jeff?
Hey Jeff! Don’t take this personally! You don’t suck, but your burgers do!
It’s not about Joe or Jeff. It’s about the product that they’re offering. Joe’s burgers definitely rank higher than Jeff’s. This could be because they are juicier, bigger, drenched in finger-licking sauces, and served with the crispiest fries that were ever fried north of the equator.
It’s about the preparation, the execution and the presentation.
And that, my dear friends, is what story writing is precisely all about.
It’s about gathering the right ingredients:
- The Narrative Voice
- Interesting characters
- An easy to follow storyline
- An engaging plot
- Vivid and realistic dialogue
- Visual descriptiveness
- A problem that needs to be solved.
So now that the ingredients are in front of you, what do you do?
Tut tut, Mary. Are you still recovering from Friday’s burnt toast? Let it go!
You need to understand these ingredients, and give them the importance that each one deserves.
Maybe your story requires stronger characters. Or perhaps your story needs a shocking secret. Or could it be that your story needs to follow the path of self-revelation. Different stories can be created with the same set of ingredients.
The only difference lies in the ratios, and qualities of the ingredients used, and the flavor of the story that you wish to create. Are the readers looking for sweet or salty? Do they wish to laugh or cry? Is the dilemma short-lived, or does it yank the reader through many twists and turns.
I’m so sorry, darling! Maybe you should’ve found a better driver, uhh…I mean WRITER.
Every writer wants to write a good story. It’s like the CHOCOLATE BROWNIE of writing.
Come on! Everybody loves brownies!
Measure your ingredients, make sure that they are edible, give them the respect and treatment they deserve, and estimate the time it will take to blend them together. You don’t want a story that is burnt, undercooked or too dry to swallow.
When you’re cooking up a good story, your skills as a writer definitely take the front seat.
But it’s your patience and creativity that steers you towards mastering a delectable dish!
It’s story time, so unleash your writing skills.
Cook up a good story that will make the hungry reader crave for even more!