Monday, January 26, 2009

The Spice of a Story

Writing is like cooking.

You have the recipe (the plot) you throw in the characters (the main ingredients) and then you add the spices (action, emotion, and setting). The process of simmering is writing, then you adjust the spices as you rewrite.

What kind of spices do you use? Do you like the spicy ones like anger, suspense, danger, sex? Or do you use the sweet ones like humor, happiness, joy, and wonder? Maybe you prefer the odd flavors like the paranormal, quirky mysteries, odd adventures, or fantasy? Then there are the mild ones of setting, yearning, boredom, and confusion. (Note: you may look at these 'spices' differently, but you know what I am getting at)

What happens if you get characters that are always angry? It's hot and after awhile you just need to cool off-and you put it down. If you sweeten it too much, readers will also walk away. As we write, we adjust. The trick is to balance it, so the reader keeps reading and you keep writing!

I find I like my stories to be spicy, with dark undercurrents (much like a fine wine with a zesty meal).

Lately, I've been re-reading a favorite author of mine that provides the right type of story I like, Anne Bishop and her "Jewels of the Blood" series. Very nice! Other authors that come to mind are Charlaine Harris, J.R. Ward, Susan Sizemore......I could go on.

What kind of "Spice" do you like and what author do you read that provides it?


Sherry Werth said...

MV, when you mentioned you were blogging about writing and cooking I couldn't imagine how you could combine the two. But you did. Great blog! Love it!

I like to experiment with spices and see how well they 'blend' together. My taste runs to spicy/sweet. There are many different authors I read so I guess you could call it a smorgasbord. : D

Just wait till my hubby hears me in the kitchen adding a little bit of sex, a dash of humor with a sprinkle of adventure!

M.V.Freeman said...

Love it Sherry!
It's the only way to write and the kitchen...LOL

Hey, there is a story here...:)

Misty Wright said...

I have to say that I like a touch of humor. Dash of adventure/suspense. All topped with a sprinkle of sexy. hehe. :D Great post, Mary!

Naima said...

Oh, I love spicy, definitely!! Paranormal and spicy, too--ala J.R. Ward and Lora Leigh. If only I could write it. *sigh* Oh, well, I can still enjoy it! LOL!