Four ways to eat your writing

If your writing was a breakfast cereal, what would it be?

No, seriously! Stick with me here!

If you likened your writing (or your story) to a breakfast cereal, you might have some astonishing insights. You might even discover a fun and effective way to self-edit or rewrite.

Step back from your work and try to see it objectively.

And metaphorically.

Ahem.

Hipster duck

 

Is your writing like porridge? Is it thick and gloopy, packed with too many ideas per sentence, per paragraph, per scene? Does the reader have to wade through it, always hoping for a change of pace, flavour or texture? Is the plot murky and hard to discern? Does your writing make it hard for the reader to find the bottom of the bowl?

Is your writing like Cornflakes? Does it start out full of sunshine and promise but end up a soggy mess? If so, perhaps you need to spend more time with your story, get to know your characters, setting, plot, before rushing ahead. Maybe you sloshed on the milk too soon, trusted a sparkly idea that was way too thin and required more thought…

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Perhaps your writing is like Coco Pops. Now this can be tricky. This kind of writing is addictive and totally moreish. It’s sugary and delicious and quite often forbidden (which makes it even more seductive). But ultimately it’s vacuous. Sure, it has a sprinkle of crackle ‘n pop, but even that’s usually borrowed. Of course, CP writing can be fun. There’s always a place for it (especially when writing for kids). It even has the added bonus of chocolate milk at the bottom. But be warned: Coco Pops can make your loco. A career based on CP writing can make you feel sluggish and unfulfilled. Most creators need better nutrition. More sustenance.

To my mind, the best kind of writing is Bircher Muesli. It’s been allowed to seep and stew, so the ideas are plump and well-formed. It has plenty of texture and variety but, unlike porridge, it’s not burdened with endless literary devices and clogged up with too many ideas. It has the occasional crunch, too, and a sprinkling of exotic spices, and we all need that. And, wouldn’t you know it, it’s sweet AND it’s nourishing. The perfect blend.

Next time you’re writing, go for Bircher.

That’s my advice.

And that’s alls I’m sayin’.

Jen xo

PS This post was not sponsored by Kellogg’s

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