Happy Saturday! Today we’re talking missing ingredients. :)
I was making a blueberry pie the other night with fresh blueberries I picked from a friend’s house. I put it all together and worked on a puzzle while it was cooking. It smelled amazing and I was excited when I pulled it out of the oven! I let it stand for a little while before I took a small sliver and took a bite. (Don’t judge the top! Frozen crusts, but they taste good!)
I took that first bite and my face scrunched up! What is this? A cornstarch pie? I took another bite. Better, but still tart. Turns out I forgot the sugar! Well, didn’t forget. I screen shotted the recipe and the sugar was apparently at the top and got cut off as I did the screen shot. Well, all this got me to thinking of story writing. (Weird how the brain works, right?)
I mean our stories have an ingredients list of sorts. We have characterization, setting, emotional arcs, beginnings, middles, endings. All things work together for the good of the story. And what if we left something out? As a writer, these are what first drafts are for.
As a reader we hope we don’t experience this. :)
My point of this post is to highlight like a well made blueberry pie, our stories are a mixture of the ingredients we mix together to create a journey a reader can get behind, support, and fall in love with. And if we leave something out? It could be messy! Or bitter. Hard to swallow?
One of the best things I’ve ever learned about writing came from author Cindy Woodsmall. She said—I don’t have a character pick up a tea cup if it doesn’t have a purpose—did not use quotations because it was a long time ago and this is probably a paraphrase, but it resonated with me and still does.
When I was working on my book, Rich in Faith I had twin girls with long dark hair that was never brushed. I didn’t know why I kept highlighting that, but I remember thinking that if this didn’t go anywhere, I needed to go back and take all the references out because it wouldn’t matter and it was taking up valuable word count. Turned out that messy hair was a part of the black moment between the hero and heroine. The missing ingredient could have been an unresolved issue.
Of course writers, like pie makers, aren’t perfect and we’re bound to leave something out occasionally. That’s why there’s grace!
And I didn’t throw my pie out. It tasted better the next day and we actually ate a slice with ice cream. While it wasn’t the best pie I’ve ever eaten, it was edible. In the comment section, I’d love to hear about a time when you made something and it didn’t turn out like you expected. Maybe you had a missing ingredient–or maybe an extra one!