Writing is a symphony of ingredients.
Once consumed, they should satisfy, nourish and enthrall your reader. But unless the flavours are harmonised, your words won’t feed the soul.
So start at the beginning.
Writing is all about satisfying readers – the consumers of information and your ideas.
To satiate your readers, you must become your own first taster. You must ensure they only get quality writing.
We eat with our eyes; use your own to ensure you serve soul food.
As first taster you become a proxy reader. You have the reader’s unspoken consent to ensure only quality dishes are served to them.
And as a restaurateur, do not underestimate the final pass.
In a restaurant, the pass fulfils two literal functions: final dishes pass hands from chefs to the waiting staff and the food must pass the final quality control check before the food leaves the kitchen to be served. Each plate must be perfect.
You need to become your own final pass.
With cloth in hand (or cut and paste keys) you need to wipe the rim of any less than perfect plate. As first taster, your eyes can’t let it through until it talks to your readers.
Cast your beady eyes over each serve being sent to the reader; look for imperfections, inconsistencies and most of all, lack of appeal. Eat with your eyes, feed with your soul.
Formula recipes help, but skill, feel and experience adds the magical pizazz that dances the words off the page into the readers’ heart. You want to attract, connect and collect readers around your storyline to eat.
Make sure you always serve what your readers want – soul food.
What are you serving?
Are you serving soul food to your readers? Do you sit in the readers’ chair and act as first taster by checking, editing and reading as a proxy first reader for them?