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Baking a Delicious Story

January 10, 2012

Today I decided to bake a small batch of cookies from scratch without a recipe. I don’t bake very often, so it was a fun but difficult challenge. I knew the ingredients but not the exact quantities, so I had to do a bit of guesswork, especially since I was making such a small amount. The results are shown below:

P1070938P1070939

Positives: They look like cookies and taste okay.

Negatives: The batter turned out more crumbly than I would have liked before adding the egg, and apparently I used a bit too much salt.

This process is remarkably similar to writing. When baking, you start with ingredients and a basic idea of how things go together, and then you combine everything to create a delicious snack. When writing, you start with just an idea and the barest of details, and you go from there to develop the story into something worth reading. The idea may be important, but it’s how you handle that idea that determines the outcome and overall success. Without a recipe for perfection, you have to determine the optimal quantities of written elements such as description and dialogue as you go. When you are done, you review the final product to assess its better qualities and its faults in order to improve the next time.

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