Yes, there will be a gravy recipe for anyone, who again, stopped in expecting food. 😉 However, you’ll have to read further to get to the recipe.
As is the case with gravy, manuscripts/plots need time to thicken. Lets face it not too many people want gravy that shares the same consistency as water, but neither do they want a gravy that has coagulated into a gelatin state.
It’s easy when writing to have a sagging middle because the plot/characters/descriptions aren’t strong enough to carry the story through. From this, comes the water-like consistency no one wants to eat or read. And it is equally as simple to over-plot and confuse the reader with the: plot and subplots/bigger than life characters/over-done descriptions. Creating a coagulating effect that most times has a reader discarding the book.
So how do you find a balance? I’m thinking it’s different for every person. Yet, something we’re all seeking.
That smooth perfection that when we read it aloud the words melt in our mouths, leaving us satisfied. Which reminds me, gravy recipe: (This is one my dad made when we were growing up)
1lb hamburger (browned)
1/2tbsp celery salt
2cups hot water
***Keep hamburg in the fry pan, drain grease. Add 1cup hot water and all seasonings to hamburg and bring to a boil. Put cornstarch in measuring cup and add the remaining cup hot water to it and stir. Once stirred to have a milky appearance, add slowly to the boiling hamburg and water. After a minute or so of boiling, turn the heat on the stove top down to a simmer. **If you prefer your gravy thicker, add 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch to 2 tbsp of water, stir together then add the mixture to your gravy pan until you have a desired consistency. Remember gravy will usually thicken given time.
As a reader, what author(s) do you believe have mastered the ‘thickening’ plot?
As a writer, how do manage your plotting? And do you think it’s working for you or are you still striving for the right recipe?