Feb 19

Baking a Book

I think one of the things I like most about baking is the science of it. I love how you can take a bunch of otherwise bland and/or completely disgusting substances, combine them together, heat them up for 10 to 20 minutes or so, pull them out of the oven still steaming, and then eat them with utter delight.

It’s amazing.

It’s science.

It’s art.

And it’s delicious…well, most of the time, unless you forgot one of the ingredients…which I have done, and then it’s super depressing. But anyway.

I think baking is a lot like writing. We as writers take ingredients that alone would be bland, tasteless, useless and sometimes disgusting: characters, descriptions, scenes, dialogue, incidents, action, thoughts, setting, time period, names, metaphors, rising action, crisis, conflict…the list goes on and on.

We mix them together in our own way with our own measurements. We are creating a new recipe…one that isn’t written down or can be followed to the last teaspoon or baked for a specific amount of time. A recipe that can take months or years to create.

Then we must perfect it. We revise and revise and rewrite and rewrite under the heat of critiques and deadlines and revelations. Paring down on certain ingredients while adding more of others.

And then finally we sigh with a dash of relief and a teaspoon of fear as we click the SEND button and our finished story is set on a platter and given to agents, editors, and readers.

Once that’s done, we only have the taste in our mouth of the experience of writing it, the smells, the fun and the frustration of what it was like to make that story…and hope. We have hope that what we have created delights readers and causes them to crave more and more.

Writing is amazing.

It’s a science.

It’s art.

And it’s delicious to do…especially with chocolate chip cookies nearby!

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