mealtime madness monday and an analogy

plots are like salads

same basic ingredients, totally different story.

each "chef"/each author makes the salad/story unique.

plot "recipe":  ordinary world, inciting incident, first life-changing choice regarding conflict, various plot points, second life-changing choice regarding conflict, big blowout scene with antagonist, finale

basic plot for almost all successful stories, right?  meaning...the same basic ingredients for ALL stories.


the plot premise, the character's goal(s), the conflict(s), the fears, may be unique and creative and with their own twist. 

 add in the characters, the setting,  the writing style, and the voice
and you've got yourself a successful story you can call your own. 
even though the framework is just like everyone else's.

basic salad ingredients:  lettuce, various ingredients, dressing, toppings


what kind of lettuce?  romaine?  spinach?  mix?

one can choose a veggie salad:  (mix in with lettuce) carrots, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumber

add cheese, croutons, sunflower seeds, egg

dressings:  oil and vinegar, french, ranch, some amazing conconction you've put together with a food processor (just got one!  can't wait to try it out and share dressings with you someday!)

or a fruit salad:  (mix in with lettuce)  strawberries, blueberries, apple slices

first of all, what a great array of choices (delish) for a cool, summer salad! 
second, think about how plotting should be sooo the same, yet can be made soooo different. 

lettuce-plot structure (lettuce type-genre, each genre as it's own plot model so the one above may not apply or may need tweaking!)
characters-veggies/fruit (each character as unique as the various ingrdients...apples and oranges, er.)
fear/hope, goals-dressing
writing style, voice-seeds, cheese, croutons

am i stretching this?
(busy, busy weekend, last-minute post, had no ideas what to write about....)
maybe so, but it's a monday, so here are some salad ideas for you
along with a reminder to make sure your plot is strong and includes all the important parts! 

happy writing and eat healthy.  :o)

ps had a great time visiting with michael from In Time!  He drove up and visited me and my fam and we had a lovely time chatting, both in the cool a/c in my living room and in the smothering heat on my deck!  (but neither of us thought to take a picture!!!)


  1. Great analogy but now I want a salad and it's only 9a.m. :/

  2. You all crack me up with all your metaphors...Hmm...salad works but I just can't see my plot as food.

  3. I'm not a big fan of salads, but I love this analogy. :D

  4. Don't ask me why, but now I have that song, "Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy" buy the Wiggles in my head.


  5. I think that's a solid pitch--nice job!

  6. 35 word pitches are so hard! The deadly shadows sounds intriguing but the rest is kind of vague. I know it's tough to get a point across in only 35 words though. Perhaps:

    Dawn is blamed for a death (can you use murder instead?) caused by the deadly Shadows only she can see, forcing her to search for the truth (about what?) and a cure (for what?).

    I know that creates more questions than help, sorry! I wonder though if you can clarify the truth and cure just a little more, then it might sound more intriguing. Excellent beginning though!

  7. Salad, yum! It might be really interesting to know which salads rate as writers' favorite by genre . . . maybe there's a post in that!

    35-word-pitch. The very phrase give me palpitations, but I have to say I love Heather's advice. Protag's name first, followed by situation followed by what she must do.

  8. Good advice, Linda!

    And now I have the Fruit Salad song in MY head!! (but I'm with Stina - salads are generally yucky).


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