Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday So What: Marinate

     I love  to watch the Food channel.  Ironic, I know. I can't cook and I have a weight loss book coming out. Go figure.
     Anyway, I was watching Chopped, and they kicked a chef off the show because her pork didn't have enough flavor. She didn't let it marinate long enough, and so the meat was bland.
     Recently, I got some feedback from a beta reader/ editor type person. My story didn't have enough flavor. I needed another ingredient. He suggested that I move a character that was introduced in the second half of the book, all the way up to the second chapter. = Major rewrites.
     I kicked, I screamed. I may have cried and cursed a little. I hated the idea. It was horrible and I rejected it out of hand. Then I went to sleep. And the idea marinated in my brain with the story. The next day it begrudgingly marinated a little more. By the third day I had rewritten the first three chapters to reflect the change.
     My friend was right. The extra character got me out of the 1st person POV trap (post coming next week). I needed that character to draw my heroine out and advance the story. She added just the right amount of bite and flavor. Sometimes ideas need that time to marinate. To really sink into your brain.
     My advice, when you get a critique from a friend, or a reader, or your group -- don't dismiss it out of hand. I know, the instinct is defense mode and protecting the integrity of your vision. Just hear it, and let it stew for a while. Let it marinate and then decide if it adds the right amount of flavor to your story.


  1. Great advice! Sometimes the criticism that stings and annoys the most turns out to be the most helpful, once it's had time to marinate.

  2. Good advice for many aspects of life. :-)

  3. I have found the same to be true. Even when developing a plot, letting it stew can make all the difference.



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