How do you cook the books?


Today’s post idea is courtesy of Strands of Pattern. I’m pretty sure Jeff won’t mind me taking his idea and running with it.

I loved Jeff’s metaphor of cooking for the writing process, and some of the analogies that friends and followers came up with in the comments to his post. Thinking about it, I’ve decided that my writing process has a lot in common with the way I make one of my favorite meals – spaghetti and meat sauce.

First, I take a big lump of slightly slimy hamburger out of the fridge, slap it in a pan, turn up the heat, and start stirring like crazy as the meat browns and gets crispy. This is the heedless first draft composition stage – often set to Nanowrimo or some other crazy deadline event.

Once the meat is browned, I add some other ingredients – tomatoes, vegetables, herbs and spices, and let it simmer for a long time, stirring occasionally, tasting now and then. This would be the no-pressure editing, letting the story sit on the back burner of my brain while I’m doing other things, occasionally sitting down to try rewriting a scene or polish some of the prose.

And finally, there’s the slightly less frantic activity as I boil a pot of water and toss in the dry spaghetti – or set myself a deadline for finishing revisions and get myself into hot water. 🙂

Is it a perfect analogy? No, probably not. But I had fun with that notion. There are probably ways that my creative process is like whipping up crepes, or roasting a turkey, or microwaving some soup, but I’m not gonna think about them just now.

What culinary process is your writing style like?

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One Response to How do you cook the books?

  1. Jeff Hargett says:

    I love that you took the idea and ran with it! (Sorry it took me so long to get over here and post a comment though. Been a busy week for me.) It’s been a while since I’ve had some good spaghetti. May have to cook me up a batch. 🙂

    Like

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