|Last week, there was a segment on the news focusing on Mc Donalds. Once a year they "bring the Mc Rib back" and the city goes crazy. My mother loves this sandwich, and everyday her Facebook is flooded with messages reminding her to get one. The news segment focused on the ingredients it takes to make up this popular sandwich. If you ever had a Mc Rib, you know that the only vegetables it comes with is onion and pickle which is thrown on top of a BBQ covered slab of meat and placed in between two pieces of bread. I'm not going to tell you what the meat is made of and whether or not it is a real piece of rib or not. I am not going to tell what goes into the sauce and how terrible it is for you. What I am going to tell you about is about the bread. It's not really bread. It's a science experiment. There are so many ingredients that in the end it left me wondering, "Is this even bread anymore? Why does it have to be so complicated?"
That got me thinking about the story I started writing a couple days ago. I am barely five pages in, and I am over complicating things and going into stress mode. Usually this happens to me after I am ten or eleven chapters in, and I have made a mess of things.
There are a list of ingredients that should be applied to a story. Elements necessary to make the story work. (Don't worry, this list is not as long as the one for the bread.)
How do you do that Lana? You ask.
I'm not exactly sure. Here is what I think, put in not so sophisticated terms.
You have your main character. Something has to happen to him/her that is life changing.
They have to want, need or desire something.
There has to be crisis.
He or she has to do something about it.
Some thing has to get in the way or another bigger crisis has to happen.
The main character solves the problem and is changed.
I think these are the basics. The foundation as Mr. Percy puts it. This is the science of writing. Doesn't sound so hard right? Mr. Percy talks about these points pretty much everyday in his blog. He said that you have to repeat something three times before a person soaks it in. Well his father used to tell him that, but you get the point. It takes about five or six times for me, but don't tell him that. He might not let me in his class.
What's your point Lana? I thought you were talking about food.
I was talking about the ingredients it takes to make something. Compare the famous Mc Donalds sandwich loaded with so many things. It is not what is seems.
Then you have these easy six ingredients I listed to write a great story.
There will be some added ingredient but that's the art superseding the science, the creativity part.
Put these elements together and you have everything you need to write a great story.
Why I haven't done this yet is beyond me. I did tell you it takes five or six times for something to soak in my brain.
I'll get it eventually.
*In case you are a curious little monkey, I've listed the ingredients that go into the bread below.
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, corn meal, wheat gluten, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, dextrose, sugar, malted barley flour, cultured wheat flour, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate (preservative), soy lecithin.
What's A McRib Made Of?
By Ben Popken on November 2, 2011 12:00 PM