Think, Leave, Cook, Write or TLCW

This is a weird philosophy of writing that I have cooked up. I thought I’d share my recipe with you. So here it is,

The Recipe to Good Writing

1) Think

Writers must always be thinking of what could make a good story. Be on the lookout for ideas and scribble them down where ever you can. When you come across a good idea, think of how it could work as a story.

2) Leave it
Once you have thought of your story idea and you like it, leave it alone. I know that this sounds strange. If you want something in this life you usually have to chase it. You have to go after it with gusto. Stories don’t work the same way, at least not in my experience. So if you have an idea, you know how it could work, and it motivates you, leave it alone.

3) Cook it
My stories need to spend some time cooking in my brain. Every story I have ever written, no matter the format, has always come out the same way. First, I think of the idea and then I leave it alone for a while. I will then run across things in real life and get inspiration from events, items, and things around me. At this stage I don’t even really need to pay attention to the oven. The ideas get mulled over in my brain with, what seems like, very little effort. This is what I refer to as cooking the story.

4) Write
At this stage I am able to write. First I thought of an idea that I think might work. I think of it and may even discuss it with someone I trust. When I like the basic idea, I then leave it alone for a while. I let the idea sit in my brain. I think of it but I don’t try to write it in my head. I think of what things the story needs and just let it cook.

After a while I just start writing. I find the story as I write it. I don’t need to plan out the story in detail before writing. I’ve pretty much done that it my head by leaving it alone for a while and letting it cook. It is then ready to be served up on my screen. I am always amazed at how I can just write. It’s like an improvisation. Things just come to me and I write. I don’t stop writing and think about what I’ve written. I don’t analyze or edit myself as I go about my work. I just write.

There are stages that need to be done after this but I don’t think that it is a good idea to focus on them at all at this point. Just finishing a first draft is an amazing feeling and you will never have that if you think too critically all the time. You need to just go with the flow and hammer out that first draft. Hopefully this recipe will help you to do that. Think, leave it, cook it and write. TLCW. There you go! Voila!

2 responses to “Think, Leave, Cook, Write or TLCW”

  1. Hi Chase,

    TLCW is a great recipe.

    I’m a thinker, so I’m always thinking of one thing or another. Since I started blogging, my thinking process often pertains to a potential blog post. I jot down ideas and often forget about them for awhile.

    I like the idea of letting it “cook”, and then writing. That does work, as does just writing with no thought of what you’re creating.

    The end result is often a pleasant surprise.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    I don’t use outlines when I write. I just write and often I only have a general idea of where I want to go.

    But I still find that I need to have that general idea first. That is why I always cook the idea for a while before I write.

    And like you say, writing can often surprise you. Thanks for the comment.