I love a good sandwich. Give me a good sandwich, a handful of chips and an Izze and life is good. But here’s the thing, screw up that sandwich and I will be one unhappy camper; especially if you skimp on the meat. I like my meat, it’s what gives the sandwich it’s A rating. Skimp on the meat and all you have is two lonely pieces of bread, some mayo and perhaps a depressing little dab of mustard….what you don’t have is a sandwich.
Stories are just like a sandwich. (Bear with me) You have two pieces of bread…the beginning and the ending…., you have mayo…the description and “dressing” of your story and you have that dab of mustard, something for a little spice and/or mystery. Then there is the meat…the thing that makes your story a story. The meat of your story is what makes it’s all worthwhile. It’s why we came…it’s why we ordered the sandwich…we wanted the meat.
I have read a lot of writers over the years that have plenty of mayo and even more mustard than you can shake a stick at but they left out the meat. Their story is intertwined with description so clear that you can see the places they describe in your mind when you close your eyes. But as you read the story you quickly realize that there is no actual substance to the story. It’s all condiments…who wants just the condiments? (Besides my 2 year old grandson who thinks that ranch dressing is a side dish) A story has to have the whole package. It has to be the foot long sub, the Swiss, rye and corned beef, the BLT with extra “B”. Let’s face it, anything less wouldn’t be a sandwich…ummm…I mean story; you get the picture.
So while you are pounding away at the keyboard this week working on that novel that’s gonna make us all rich…don’t forget to beef up your story so that it has substance. Make those main characters strong parts of your story, focus you main storyline so that the reader feels compelled to read on. You don’t want to feed your readers condiments…if you do…they will just find another deli. (Gotta go, I’m hungry now…)
© The Writer’s Advice, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.