Starting with the right stuff

Tonight I made a fancy grilled cheese with ingredients that I got at the local farmer’s market.  I made something similar last week, so I was very hopeful for dinner.

It turns out that the pieces I used this week weren’t quite right.  I like all three ingredients – handmade Nordic bread, locally made dill cheddar cheese, and heirloom tomatoes.  The end result isn’t great, and I think the bread is the problem.  I’m still enjoying it, but it’s not as good as last week’s sandwich.  (If you’re curious, last week was pumpernickel, not Nordic, and the cheese was store-bought shredded Italian.  The tomatoes were the same.)

This has implications for writing, which is why I’m mentioning it here.  A good novel takes lots of pieces, and they need to fit together effectively.  Certain writing styles lend themselves to certain stories.  Particular characters are suited for specific tales, and tie back to the writing style as well.  If you have a stoic character, you can’t write with a lot of dialog, and a focused, low-action tale needs a deft hand with detail.

If your story isn’t quite working, take a look back and see if changing point of view, writing style, or even rebuilding a character can help.  Sometimes swapping out one ingredient makes all the difference.

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