Leta’s Creative Writing: “The Chemistry of Yolks”

“The Chemistry of Yolks”

Dedicated to the scientist in my life who paints joyful little eggs.

Welcome to my next major experiment on Lit&Leta. I’m going to walk through the steps I take to write this short story. I’ll start with the story of how inspiration hit me.

I went to a paint night that one of my friends hosted. It was so much fun. We laughed and talked and had fun painting without pressure. I did it too, which felt good because painting is something I struggle with. But enough about me. One of my best friends was painting a beautiful little egg cooking in a black frying pan. She works in a lab running samples. I couldn’t tell you whose idea it was because we were all talking and building off each other, but suddenly I saw it. A frazzled scientist abandoning the stress of the lab she once loved for the pure and intense joy of painting eggs. Victoria came alive in my mind and urged me to write her story. She’s desperate for me to write it and share it. She tells me it needs to be told. I think there’s someone out there who needs to read it. Someone who needs to see the message that Victoria wants to be conveyed. And boy, is it an important message.

It took me months to sit down and plot out the story since I’ve been working on other projects (mainly this blog and my brain). Once I did, it spilled out of me. There are twelve scenes, and I wrote them down immediately on recipe cards. It took me a few more weeks to have the courage to turn those hastily written notes into an outline. But I finally did last week. Now all I must do is write.

I wish I knew how to detail this process further from a different perspective. I think it’s different for every writer, but I’ll do my best to write out my way. In university, I had a professor who is a screenwriter and taught the Novel Writing class. He told us to write each scene on a recipe card–that way, we can move scenes around and reorder them as needed, and you can see that each scene is equally important. This helps to get rid of unnecessary scenes and it helps visual people like me to see the interconnected web of the entire story laid out before me. It’s hard for me to do this with novels, but I’ve found the recipe cards to be perfect for short stories. So, when I took the scenes and characters out of my head, I knew I needed some cards. I don’t limit myself to how many to use for a single story. I just need everything written down in pieces so that it feels less huge.

Once that’s done, I turn on my laptop and begin expanding what I have written on the cards. Each scene becomes a page-long explanation of what needs to happen in the scene, how the characters are feeling, and what the outcome and expectations of the scene are. So, I’m left with a huge document detailing the entire story in plain writing that just needs the creative writing added to it.

That’s where I am now. The next step is to print out that document and get writing. I’ll have a pen and a highlighter handy so that I can make notes on the physical document while I write, very much like an editor. If I realize that I’m missing a scene, I can make a note of where to add it in and what it needs to have in it. I’m hoping to finish this step by October 31st. If I can keep on that target, I should be able to spend November writing my novel during NaNoWriMo before switching over to editing “The Chemistry of Yolks” during December. I’m hoping to post monthly updates on “The Chemistry of Yolks” before posting the full story in the new year. The next update will come around the end of October, so keep an eye out for that!


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