Sorry guys, but today's blog post is running a little bit late. You see, I had to wrestle with this guy and he didn't want to cooperate. Writing is like making a fine gumbo. I was raised near the swamps of Louisiana, and I learned early on what goes in that pot. It takes time and the right ingredients to produce a finished product that anyone could sink their teeth into.
Good writing is the same way. There are so many ways to create a story but only the right mix will create a story worth reading.
Okra is the foundation of gumbo. It doesn't matter whether you add chicken, sausage, or seafood. Some people add rice at the end and others may put in noodles. You can throw in any vegetables you want, but if you don't have okra...you don't have gumbo!
The foundation of a good story is strong writing skills. Weak characters, poor grammar, and unsatisfactory endings leave a bad taste in a reader's mouth. Who would want to sit down to a bland bowl of tasteless gumbo? And who would want to sit down to a bland, boring book when you have already figured out everything about the story line before you begin?
Gumbo's secret ingredient? Why file' of course! File' powder is actually ground up sassafras and it is the added spice that gives gumbo the right kick of flavor. While you might get lucky and make a good gumbo without this spice, why would you take that chance?
Writing's secret ingredient? Why it's YOU, the author, of course! When you allow all the creativity within you to spice up your stories, the real flavor or style of writing comes through. Anyone can put words onto the computer screen, but it is the writer who allows their writing skills to blend with their own creativity who cooks up a great story.
A great gumbo takes time and patience to make a meal worth sinking your teeth into...so does great writing...