Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thicken the P(l)ot
Soup, like a story, is always better when you give it time to develop. You need to let it sit and simmer for a while to get all the full-bodied flavor out of the characters...or vegetables. So remember to take a little time with your p(l)ot--let it stew inside your head. This added time will help thicken the story...or broth.
So you see, a good pot of soup is just like a good story.
After you have your idea, think about your characters. Make sure you make them multi-dimensional, complex, and--mostly--imperfect. Otherwise they will be predictable and bland. No one wants a boring soup or a one-dimensional story. Everyone has flaws so remember to throw in a few quirks and complications, it will spice up your characters.
After you finish your story, let it sit for a few days then go back and get another little taste from the p(l)ot. You might discover some things you'd forgotten, or see mistakes you never noticed. You might even realize a few ways you can fit some of those pieces together better than before with only a small sprinkling of salt...or a bit of new information.
So I hope I've helped you see that "The Joy Of Writing" can be comfort food for the writer's soul and add spice to your story for the benefit of your reader.
So, the next time you're cooking up a pot of soup, think of character, and when you're sitting down to a savory cup of alphabet soup, think about those words. How can we use them to make our stories richer, tastier and more ful...filling?
People say "time heals". I don't know if that's true, but it sure "helps" when it comes to thickening the broth of your soup and it will do even more to make your story rich and tasty.