Sunday, 13 July 2008

Writing is like…

Just a quick thought as I work to finish my latest news story. I’ve been pondering the writing process. It is rare for a story to spring, fully formed, from the keyboard. What you usually have are various key points either from the press release or other source material. Getting these parts to come together in a cohesive story is a lot like making pastry.

Bear with me if you’re unfamiliar with the process. You start with flour and fat together in a bowl and with your fingers start rubbing the flour into the fat. After a while you end up with flour-coated pieces of lard – it feels as though it will never become a pie. Keep going, however, and the mixture ends up resembling bread crumbs. Add water and suddenly the individual crumbs come together into a lump of pastry.

Somehow writing is the same – keep plugging away, re-hashing the facts and arranging the different key points and eventually something coherent emerges. I’m not sure how it happens (with words or food) but it is very satisfying when it does.

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