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Let’s Bake a Cake

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Let’s bake a cake. We’ll be a little bit more specific and make it a basic chocolate one.

Out of the five recipes I look up, one uses just over a 1/2 cup of flour, one uses 1 1/2 cups of flour, two use 2 cups of flour, and one has 3 1/4 cups of flour.

Chocolate: One uses melted, unsweetened, and four use cocoa in varying amounts.

Eggs: One uses 2, two use 3, and two use none. One uses sour cream and one uses aged balsamic vinegar.

Even if two cook used all the same items, they still end up with a different tasting cake. The heat of the oven or the difference each cook sticks to the recipe affects the outcome.

Story structure is a lot like a recipe. You may be baking with the same ingredients but it all comes out a little different. It all depends on the cook.

But I am hoping you already figured this out and beat me to the punch-line on this comparison because before I wrote this, I realized how obvious I was being.

If you already know that everyone will bring something different to story, but you still fear that using structure makes only bland stories, then it is time to quit listening to your fears.

You already know what you have to do to get writing, so do it.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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