Getting the ingredients ready.
The French have a term for it; mis en place. Literally, this term means to put in place. Every good cook knows that the best way to have success with any recipe, is to do the prep work first. Gathering together all the ingredients and carefully cutting them up, measuring them out, or simply having them readily available is key in preparing any dish, no matter how simple or how elaborat it might be. But what happens if you find you're missing an ingredient? The accomplished chef will take the items he does have, add in a few "surprise" elements and...Voilà! He creates something new and exciting. That is how many of the great dishes came to be. That same "miracle" can occur with writing...as well as life. When a writer has an idea, his first task should be to organized his thoughts into an outline of how the story will unfold, complete with characters and basic details; a kind of writer's mis en place, if you will. If, part way through the outline, the writer realizes that the storyline won't work, he's faced with two choices; scrapping it and coming up an another idea or, figuring out a way to make the story work. We've all heard the sage advice, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade." And that's the mis en place for living life; you organize your life the way you want it to be, but it you find that something is missing...or your story isn't working out the way you dreamed, then take what you do have and create something new, exciting and, dare I say, even better than your original recipe. Perhaps not everyone will think it's spendid, but that's OK. It'll be your masterpiece and perfect for you. Happy Cooking...whatever your recipe!
10/13/2015 07:26:25 pm
Great advice, Irwin. Let the story write itself. It is so hard to let go of a preconceived idea of how things should be and try to force it to happen....but the story (or project or anything at all) takes off with wings when we let go!
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Land of Lily Pad's first published author. I enjoy writing fun and educational books for kids. My blog is for you parents; the kiddos might like some of them, too. As always, everything I write is family-friendly, so don't hesitate to share my messages with everyone. I hope you find them helpful and maybe even inspirational. Cheers!