Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Disney Dishes Chicken at RWA

I survived RWA’s 30th Anniversary conference.

Thousands of chickens did not.

I’m not talking about individuals afraid of taking risks. I’m talking poultry.

Chicken is my favorite food, next to pizza. It’s versatile, easy to prepare, and goes with anything. To my dismay, Disney’s lack of culinary creativity would have Chef Ramsay dropping the “F”-bomb because the delectable bird was cut and cooked and served without any variety for two luncheons and the awards dinner. Don’t mistake my intent. There was nothing wrong with how the chicken tasted. But, I expected more finesse and flair and variety from the magnate Mouse of magickal moments. To say I was disappointed, barely scratches the surface of the sentiment.

In pondering the many ways that the chicken could’ve been prepared, I began thinking about books and story-telling. {What can I say? I’m a writer. My brain is wired to that path and all roads of thought will eventually end up there.}

As writers, we must not fall into the trap of disappointing readers by dishing out plain chicken reads.

We must take every opportunity to stock our writer’s rack with savory words, ripened plots, and satisfying world building. Marinate characters with the mesquite of the wild west. Add a bit of cinnamon or cardamon for outer-space spice. Simmer plots like robust stew or turn up the heat for fast-fried scenes.

If we don’t, our stories will be as bland and unappealing as an unseasoned chicken.

That’s why I’m grateful for the RWA’s ongoing efforts to provide authors, aspiring and established, with tools to sharpen and hone our skills. The workshops at Nationals were fun, challenging, and oriented to helping writers learn about the craft of writing.

I had a fabulous time meeting interesting people from all over the world, developing friendships that I hope will be long and fruitful, and gleaning from those who have created their own recipes for success.

I’ve expanded my writer’s rack with fighting tips from Angela Knight, witticisms for career planning from Cherry Adair, admonishments to write without whining because it wasn’t any easier then than it is now from Nora Roberts, and Jayne Ann Krentz’s advice on how not to kill your career.

I learned about publishers and publishing, agents and editors, query letters and synopses, hooks and high concept pitches.

But, the boring poultry, thrice served, that could’ve been much more appealing and satisfying if a little creative effort had been put into making it, will be what I remember the most. Because I never want a reader to feel that I didn’t care enough to season my “dish” to perfection.

~Kristal Lee

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Anonymous said...

Jessica Souders says:
Ha! This was a great post. I especially loved the line: “As writers, we must not fall into the trap of disappointing readers by dishing out plain chicken reads.”

August 3, 2010

Anonymous said...

Camryn Rhys says:
This is a fantastic post! I was thinking the same thing at RWA. So much chicken, so little variety.

August 3, 2010

Kristal Lee said...

Thanks ladies! Glad that I’m not the only one clucking.

Auguat 6, 2010

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