I didn't always enjoy cooking.
Early on, I learned to make my own spaghetti sauce at the elbow of my mother. But did I enjoy it? Not really. It was more a means to an end. Mainly the eating part. When I was at my first year of college, cooking became arduous, as I had to squeeze it in between working at a hellish giant retail chain (that rhymes with Shmall-Mart) and taking a full load of classes. I was more inclined to throw fake powered cheese in with boiled noodles to make boxed mac and cheese then I was to make actual meals.
Cooking shows were so boring I almost always fell asleep watching them. For a while I would even purposefully tune in to cooking shows in order to catch some much needed nap-time Zzzzs.
And then Alton Brown happened.
Good Eats was the first cooking show that made me interested not in just trying a recipe, but in actually learning why techniques of cooking are just as important to learn as attempting to follow a recipe. Not only that, but he brought SCIENCE into it. And humor. If there are two things I love, it's science and humor. And food. Suddenly, I thought, I can do this. And I know the whys and wherefores.
Armed with SCIENCE! and a spatula, I ran off to my culinary endeavors.
I have to admit that writing for me wasn't quite the ah-ha moment of inspiration. Sure I tried lots of "recipes" for writing, but it took me a good long while until I realized that the whys of plot and character and setting are just as important in a writing recipe as everything else. The problem is a lot of times that I write like I cook, with only a glance at the recipe and then I improvise and throw in a dash of this and that. Sometimes I wind up with burnt inedible puke-stench sauces, and other times I freakin' nail that time-consuming stir-nightmare that is risotto.
So right now here is the vague recipe for Blood and Brass:
· 1 emotional automaton accused of murder
· 1 stoic psychologist trying to learn the truth
· 1 love triangle (giggity)
· 1 part coming-of-age story to 2 parts devolving into madness
· Half a dozen heaping cups of steampunk inventions
· A few BAM! dashes of BAM! and BAM! for airship battles, riots and grand ballroom dancing
· Weigh out to exact measurement some alternate history
· Mash into something suitably dark and twisted
· Bake until finished
What's the recipe for your story? Or if not, what's your recipe for [insert something creative...or not]. I will also accept recipes for success, and recipes for fudge.