Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Writing is Like... #2

A few days ago Maggie Dana tweeted that writing fiction is like peeling an onion, whereas editing fiction is like slicing it. Both can result in tears.

This is very true. And it appeals to me because I'm all about the veggies, as you probably already know. So let's do some more veggie similes for writing:

Writing is like...

1. ...planting potatoes. You have to wait for the basic idea to start sprouting before you can stick it underground and let it work its way up to the surface. And when it gets to the surface and starts flowering you should put more earth around the base for a better yield. So that when you finally dig it up and start writing that novel, there are so many ideas under the surface that it's potato salad all round. Metaphorically speaking.

2. ....a broad bean. You don't want to overcook that baby or it's going to end up leathery.

3. ...making coleslaw. Make sure you shred the prose cabbage so finely that by the time you add the mayonnaise of the finishing touches the whole novel slips down nice and easy. Bleurgh. I hate coleslaw.

4. ...preparing a celeriac. Face it. At first it's going to look ugly, and you're going to have to put time and effort into sawing off all the knobbly bits. There'll be dirt and you might even slice your finger a little bit, but the pain is good. It means you're getting somewhere. Then you braise that celeriac with red onion and button mushrooms and serve it with a lovely piece of fresh salmon on the top. I mean, you serve up the finished novel. Obviously.

5. ...kohlrabi. The initial idea keeps turning up in your mental veggie box and you have no idea what you're going to do with it. So you chop it and dice it and mash it and squelch it and pound it and serve it up a million different ways until eventually one of the Masterchef judges/publishers says - actually, this is okay. Yeah. I can eat this. And then you rejoice for thirty seconds before picking up your knife, reaching for a fresh kohlrabi, and trying all over again.

Now I'm sad and hungry. Bad combination.

4 comments:

C. N. Nevets said...

Writing is like cooking up of my veggie-heavy stir-fries. I know I'm going to put in a couple different onions, a few different peppers, some celery, and some snap peas, but I'm not sure how much and I have no idea what else might suddenly strike me.

Frances Garrood said...

And cooking spinach. You start off with a big, wonderful idea, and when you've finished there's vitually nothing left.

I too can't stand colseslaw. I also don't see the point of it.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I'm beginning to think writing is like everything, in a superficially deep way.

Now I feel like the Sphinx from Mystery Men. "If you wish to write like a potato, first you must taste of the potato that can write."

That was rubbish Sphinxing.

C. N. Nevets said...

In order to write for a salary, you must first eat the right amount of celery.

If you want let us read your book, oy, you must first reap your lettuce and bok choi.

Wow, that goes right up to the point of being confusing.