Friday, July 26, 2013

Flavor in Cooking and Writing

I made a lot of flavor enhancements to my story today!

The story -- a fantasy murder mystery, turned chase/flight -- is structurally complete.  The step I'm attending to right now is making sure the reader understands what things and people look like, has enough background to understand elements of the story, etc.

And, in addition, I'm adding phrases that do nothing but add depth to the world in which the story is taking place.  For instance, a flight of birds dashes through a scene.  No reason for them to be there, except that, while the story is taking place, unconnected parts of every living things' life continue also. 

Immersion in the Story

It's my hope that the reader will take this as a sign that we're not on the set of some play.  We're in a living, breathing world.

I'm adding background because it may not matter to readers of this story what the region's wider geography is.  But it probably matters to the characters -- they would be aware of it, and it may have a deeper meaning to them than to the reader.

Those tidbits, also, add flavor and immersion. 

Adding Seasoning

Earlier this week I made dinner a couple of times.  Once, I picked a German Potato Cassarole, and it was actually pretty fun to put together.  We eat gluten and dairy free, so what I had to do is gather three different online recipes and combine them.  Which wasn't easy -- they were very different.  I've found enough of an identity as a cook that I have a rough sense of what I can take from each recipe, and what can be left out. 

What's more is how great it tasted!  One for the books!  Definitely a repeat appearance is predicted.

But that's very much like what I am doing in my story, today.  When I cook, it's easy enough to assemble the base ingredients -- the potatoes, onions, vegan "cheese", etc.

Flavor -- what makes it taste like more than the sum of its parts -- is more challenging.  I could have just used white onions.  I did.  But I also added green onions.  One recipe called for celery, which I dislike.  But I did add plenty of celery salt.

When a recipe, or a story, comes together with lots of flavor, it is bound to be well received.

That's the reaction I hope to get from my readers when I publish, in two or three weeks!

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