By Verl Hatch
I went to a writer’s thingy. It wasn’t a conference. We didn’t confer. It wasn’t a workshop. We didn’t work. It was a writer’s lecturia featuring some good contemporary authors lecturing about how to. I’m eighty years old and don’t remember what I had for lunch that day, but the women were lovely and I learned one thing—either I do it all wrong, or everyone else does. As I understand from the lecturia, in order to write you sit down at the word processor, type, and a story appears, characters grow, plots thicken, and then you need a publisher. Who am I to say that this is not how to?
I start with a pencil, myself. Could be I’m watching a child learning to ride a bicycle. I make a note of what I observe—just to remember. Could be I’m in a deep sleep, dreaming. I awake, write a note—just to remember. My notebook is full of unrelated trivia. Now, I’m at my desk by the window, pencil and pad in hand. The pot starts to heat. I create an outline, no details, but a series of ideas leading to a conclusion. The pot comes to a boil. At that point, I spend a lot of thought on producing a unique finish. I throw a veggie in the pot, add a little spice, constantly stirring and adding to the pot (in other words, perusing my notebook for clues, discovering points of interest, things I’d forgotten). Now I have a soup! In short, by the time I’ve completed that outline, my story is written. Soup is not the whole of dinner, however. It’s just the starter. All I need do now is write the entrées, the side dishes, the dessert.
No, I have not sold a tale in years, nor have I crafted anything I feel is worth money, and I do have that in common with ninety-nine and nine tenths of other contemporary authors, but I sure know how to make a good soup!