Writing And Cheesecake

For Isabella, who dared me to find the connection.*

Cheesecake.  Writing.  Two different worlds right?  Wrong.  If you stop to think about it, there are a lot of similarities.

It has been said are seven plots in the world.  Every story told is a version of one of these basic ideas. You may have to dig deep, but the skeleton of the story falls into one of these seven ideas.  Only the details change.

There are more than seven kinds of cheesecake.  They are all based off of a dairy product, so they must all taste the same, right?  Wrong.  The difference is in the details, or the ingredients.

What kind of ingredients?  Well, that depends on what cheesecake you are hungry for.  Do you want something sweet?  Something with a slight tang?  Then choose your ingredients carefully.  Cream cheese or ricotta for the base?  Fruit or chocolate for the garnish?  Graham cracker crushed cookie for the crust?

So how does this work for stories? Let’s start with an example – the novel I’m working on versus Melissa Snark’s Loki’s Wolves Series.  Both of our books have a female werewolf as the primary character.  Both have to deal with threats to their lives.  Both of our books have vampire characters. But while Victoria’s focus is on doing whatever it takes to protect her pack, Jordan doesn’t want anything to do with the pack intent on adopting her.  This produces two very different stories from the same ingredients.

So someone else has written that story about werewolves and vampires and you’re worried it will come out like somebody else’s?  Just mix up those ingredients.  You may be surprised at how alike and how different it ends up.

*At least she didn’t ask me to discuss “Why a raven is like a writing desk?”**

**No. You are not allowed to ask me to write about why a raven is like a writing desk.***

***Why?  Because someone has already answered the question.

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