Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cookin' My Book

The truth is, even if I had a recipe for writing, I probably wouldn't follow it. But wouldn't it be cool to have a choice?

I enjoy cooking. I enjoy trying new recipes and then quirking them up a bit.

Strike that.

I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes as long as I have the tools and ingredients. And time. Oh, and the audience. Picky, picky.

The tools for writing are up to us to discover and implement. Online courses, hands-on classes, books on writing, critique groups, reading, Google, reference librarians and good ol' bichoking. Nothing is handed to us. Some tools will work and some won't. But they're all part of the cooking process, and belong in my kitchen.

My writing recipe included some ingredients that didn't go well together. My good friend Joni pointed out the mismatched and flawed ingredients to me over lunch last Friday. She kindly referred to parts of my premise as "truthful fiction." Sheesh. Together, we came up with some options to revise my recipe.

Thankful that my manuscript isn't polished and ready for representation, I've squared my shoulders and made the decision to be a responsible chef and get the recipe right.

So, starting yesterday, I'm reading through from the beginning and tweaking to make the character of Chase Waters more plausible. It will probably force me to eliminate some scenes all together, but I'm hopeful to find some new little gems . . . er, ingredients.

Still reading Dead Famous. It's making me think about series vs. continued characters vs. stand-alones. . . .

It's all better with friends.


  1. So explain...what's the problem with truth fiction in the premise? I don't get it.

  2. I didn't think anyone would be particularly interested in the details of my angst. Thanks, Jess!

    What I found out is that even in a smallish college town, a psychologist for the police department would NEVER do any detective work for that department EVER. Nor could he go from being a shrink to a detective. EVER.

    And something else to keep in mind: even a large metropolitan city would not have the budget for a full-time psychologist on their payroll. That service would be contracted out.

    I just need some grand new ideas for my co-protag's assistant who plays a major role in the story. Got any???

  3. Hi Peg, I'm just getting back to reading your response. Goodness, why can't writers do what TV writers do? You can't tell me all that stuff on CSI, Crossing Jordan, Bones, etc is true or would really happen. I wouldn't have a problem with your psychologist doing detective work. Is it CSI or Law and Order that has the little Asian shrink who checks everyone out? I have wondered why he's always hanging around. LOL

    I guess Truth in Fiction is the best way to go. That's why I'm better with fluffier stuff. :) I always loved that commercial where the entire town dances through the streets singing "I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper" -- and I love thinking it could really happen. :)

  4. The very cool thing is that I'm scheduling a tag-along with a detective in the Major Crimes Division for a local police department.

    I'll be sure and put up a post when that happens!