Writing is a lot like Cooking by Kim Smith 2009

I want to introduce Rule of Three’s guest author for this Sunday. Kim Smith is the author of the wildly popular Shannon Wallace mystery series and show host at the online radio show, Introducing WRITERS! She is a full time network administrator, wife, and mother of two, although she swears her little dog, Tink, is the one who really runs things.

Currently, Kim is revving up for edits to a romantic novella, a short story for an anthology, and the next Shannon Wallace book. All coming soon from Red Rose Publishing! Here’s Kim:

When I was a teenager and decided I wanted to learn how to cook, I took on spaghetti as my first choice. I had watched my mother do it countless times, and it seemed like an easy feat. After setting about the task, I wondered just how she made cooking look so easy. It wasn’t really. There was a lot of time spent at the sink, standing, stirring, cutting and chopping. I quickly realized that cooking was an art and it required dutiful observance to the rules.

When I make spaghetti, I buy only the freshest ingredients, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and ground meat. I find healthy versions of this, and have made it with turkey, pork and beef. Pasta is a major player in spaghetti so I make sure I pick a good brand (although I would love to make my own one day!)

In preparation for the batch of spaghetti, I cut up the vegetables and brown the meat, meticulously keeping cross contamination of meat to veggies. I boil the pasta in its happy red pot until it is just the right consistency. When I am ready for the big finish, I ladle the noodles onto a colorful dish, top it with a batch of the meat sauce, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top for a zing.

Writing is a lot like cooking. You have to follow some guidelines, like use the best ingredients, prepare it well, and send it to the table looking its best.

Don’t settle for stale words! Find a new dictionary, or thesaurus and challenge yourself to test those “taste buds” and try to find new words, new ways of saying things. Then, take those fabulous words, sentences, and paragraphs and put them into a document that makes every reader sigh. Wake their senses! Throw in an extra dose of spice. Make your writing appear pleasing to the eye. Scoop it out of its usual plain wrapping and present it to the public on a glamorous new plate that will make your readers say “ah”.

Change is good, but too much veering from the norm may make your reader (or dinner guest!) turn in the opposite direction. Don’t do things that send them for the nearest diner to get their fill of fiction, or fettucini.

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6 responses to “Writing is a lot like Cooking by Kim Smith 2009

  1. Thanks for having me here today! I am very excited to be here 🙂

  2. That’s a very interesting analogy – food for thought (pun intended)!
    Margay

  3. Kim, this post made me hungry–for spaghetti and good prose! I loved the description of the happy red pot. Well done!

  4. Hey you guys! thanks for stopping by. I think food is my life some days. In the south, we eat to celebrate, and mourn. If there is a birth we eat, if there is a death, we eat.

    Not much time left for writing, is there ? (jk)

  5. Kim wrote: “Wake their senses! Throw in an extra dose of spice.”

    Kim,
    I got a chuckle out of that. I had just mixed up tuna salad and at the last minute I put in some capers and a few squirts of Tabasco sauce. Delish!

    I enjoyed your post. You’re right. Cooking and writing have a lot in common.

    Pat Browning

  6. Hey Pat! That sounds good! I glanced at the tuna can myself today, but didn’t use it. Maybe tomorrow! I will pop open the Tabasco bottle in your honor! Thanks for stopping by!

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