Monday, December 01, 2008

What I Think About While Writing

Food, mostly.

I am home from Thanksgiving and while this year we did not deep fat fry the bird, my cousin, the devious Alyssa made two desserts - a dump cake (as good as it sounds) and that Hello Dolly bar, but she made a whole pie of it. Damn her! oh Damn her!

But Sinead's post made me think - of all the stuff we are supposed to remember to do and all the incredible things we've learned - what is the one thing I've managed to keep front and center in my head?

This is me every day:

Did I just kill the conflict? I did, didn't I? Let me...yep. Killed it. STOP KILLING THE CONFLICT!

Sadly, the other thing I obsess about while writing is the number of sentences I start with pronouns. That's it. All the gems and gold and keys to the kingdom I've been given I think about how many sentences start with 'he.'

Sad. But the conflict thing - that's helped. It's taken me a lot of books to make that number one and I think it's made my writing and my process more interesting. Of course, some dump cake would do that too...

7 comments:

Sinead M said...

the conflict thing is good as well. Anything that keeps me thinking about increasing the tension in the chapter I'm writing at the time.
Otherwise, my characters would have lovely conversations where everyone gets along...
Oh, and dump cake sounds amazing...

Amy Ruttan said...

I do the he she thing all the time, and dump cake Mmmm I don't know what it is but I want it. Mmmmm. Or should I say the fetus. LOL.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think if we keep conflict in mind that's the key, really. Pronouns can be fixed.

Now, can we talk about dump cake?

Molly O'Keefe said...

Dump Cake is the zenith of midwest cooking - right up there with Chocolate Mayo cake and Seven Layer Salad. You take a can of crushed pineapple and dump it in a pan, on top of that you dump a can of cherry pie filling on top of that you dump a box of yellow cake mix (with the pudding in it) then you sprinkle with whatever nut you love -- and finally melt a stick (a whole stick) and dump that over the top of the whole thing. Bake it. Eat without a bowl. Just use a spoon. Actually, while taking out the leftovers to the front porch to keep cool - use your fingers like I did and feel terrible about yourself.

Margaret Moore said...

Are you trying to create conflict? You can't tease us this way!!!! I want to try this but need more clarification! Is the yellow cake mix dry, or with the eggs, etc. added to make a batter? I assume you mean a stick of butter, but you know what they say about assuming. Bake for how long? What kind of pan? How hot is the oven? Please, take pity on us and post the complete recipe!

As for obsessing about minor details, I drive myself nuts over dialogue tags, including said and replied (as in, have I used those too much?). So I need cake. Lots and lots of cake.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Sorry to leave you hanging Margaret. Yes, it's a stick of butter. yes, the cake mix is dry (strange I know, but oh so delicious) - Alyssa used a big cassarole dish and baked it at 350 until the top was golden and the pie fillings were bubbling. It's so delicious it's stupid.

Margaret Moore said...

Thank you! I am always on the look out for easy, yummy recipes!

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