Ingredients for the Perfect Plot Sandwich

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places.

When I asked my 11-year old daughter and her friend what I should blog about, they said, “Write about a sandwich.” After wrinkling my nose at them, a light bulb went on. “I’ll do it,” I agreed.


What goes into a sandwich?

In our busy lives, we’ve all had the experiencing of hearing our stomachs growl, wandering into the kitchen and grabbing for some bread only to find that nothing but the crusty bookends are left. Still, in our haste, we grab for those ends and slather them with as much peanut butter and jelly as possible to blot out the bland taste.

This is not the way to write a story that ignites hearts and minds. That kind of story requires different ingredients.

  • Hunger: A big heaping helping of daydreaming is an absolute must. Substitute: Inspiration from unexpected places, such as 11-year olds with uninhibited imaginations.
  • The Meat and Cheese: Make sure you layer your story with a series of events that entice readers to salivate and not put the story down until they have polished off every last bit.
  • The Bread: Envelop the story in a setting that not only describes the scene, but creates a permanent memory that readers can sometimes confuse with reality. In a solid setting, their skin might prickle at the biting wind and snowflakes that land on their eyelashes.
  • The Embellishments (Tomatoes, Sauces, Lettuce): Embellish your story with characters that seem so real readers will feel like they’ve had dinner together many times, they know all of their extended family members by name and just how to push each other’s buttons.

So the next time you reach for a sandwich that is less than savory or a story that is as overdone as a peanut butter and jelly on the stale bookends of the bread, inhale a rich gulp of air. Make sure you have a true hunger for writing something inspirational, bread that sets the stage for a rich tale, meat and cheese that will keep readers eating until the every last piece is devoured, and embellishments that keep them coming back for more.


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