Writers: Don’t Forget the Sugar
July 25, 2016 9 Comments
My favorite drink of all time.
It can be ordered at a bar or you can make it yourself.
Drink too much of it and you can get too sick to move. Refrain from drinking it at all and you could suffer major health issues.
I require it every time I come home from work, or home from a walk in the hot sun, or after playing with the kids, or even waking up in a sweat in the middle of the night.
There are three ingredients: Water, ice, and a squirt of lemon.
I have nothing against alcohol – I just don’t like it. I’ve tried whiskey, bourbon, beer and we now have several half-full bottles in the kitchen. Just doesn’t measure up to my taste buds.
I do enjoy a cold V-8 or a glass of milk. I even love bloody Mary – virgin, of course.
But just give me a cold glass of water with lemon and I’m all set.
But forget the lemon and I just might throw the water in your face. That’s just nasty. It’s like nonfat ice cream, or sugarless gum. What’s the point?
Most writers can tell a basic story. Introduction, conflict, resolution, the end. Easy. But what about the lemon? What about the stuff that makes the banal taste of water sweet (or sour)? What about the flavor?
Are you taking your story one step higher to add that touch of emotion, or comedy, or deeper insight into your characters? Don’t give your readers sugarless candy. Deliver the goods.
Give us a reason to relate to your character by cleverly providing a backstory.
Give us reason to find your characters’ departure from each other heartbreaking.
If you have a comic relief, don’t recycle old jokes you’ve heard elsewhere before. Be original. Give us fresh, new material that we can enjoy.