Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writing and Everyday Activities Series

Writing Stories and Baking a Cake

My mother has always been a great baker ... and my younger daughter seems to have inherited her skills. The cooking genes may have skipped my generation but I’ve learned enough to know that baking a great cake is similar to writing a great story.

Using a Recipe
Following a recipe is the best way to make a cake. It normally lists the ingredients and tells you how to combine them and what temperature to bake them at. Writing a story follows similar principles.

The Ingredients of a Good Story
Most cakes have the same basic ingredients and these can be compared to the content of a good story:
Butter/oil – these hold the mixture together and make it easy to swallow – good grammar and spelling
Flour – the bulk of the mixture – the words that make up the story
Baking soda – the ingredient that makes the cake rise – the inspirational element that uplifts the reader
Sugar – sweetens the cake – the tender emotional parts of a story
Eggs and milk – the protein in a cake – the meat and message in a story

Combining the Ingredients
It’s no good throwing everything in a bowl and hoping it will turn out right. There are basic principles that need to be followed and it’s the same with writing. A story needs a beginning, a middle and an end. Sentences need to follow a logical order and there should be a message that the reader can understand. Just as good baking takes practice, so does good writing.

Baking the Cake
Most cakes need heat to make the ingredients bond and the mixture rise. In a similar fashion, the best stories are often born from painful personal experience. Even when writing fiction, life-lessons and truths learned can be woven into stories.

The Icing on the Cake
This signifies the printed form of the story. A book cover, magazine page or website can enhance the beauty of a well-written piece of work.

Producing a good cake is a skill that takes time and practice; writing a good story requires a similar commitment. The best thing to remember is that God is the Master Baker, the Master Writer and the One who longs to help us in everything we do. Whether baking or writing this week, do it with all your heart and enjoy the results!

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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1 comment:

Tracy Ruckman said...

Ah - I missed this when it first posted. This is an awesome series - great visuals to help us remember!