February 24th, 2012

Eat Dessert First!!!!

Originally published at Through the Tollbooth. Please leave any comments there.

This was possibly the best advice I ever received.

Eat dessert first.

In other words: write the scenes you want to write. Then go back and write the other scenes. (The ones you don’t want to write.)

For me, these are usually the scenes with high dramatic tension or a lot of action. When I was writing BEYOND LUCKY, I loved working on the soccer scenes as well as the scene where Ari finds the card. I liked writing the humorous scenes, too. Now that I am working on something new, I find myself doing the same thing. I’m writing scenes where my main character confronts conflict and tension. I have a theme. A point. A destination. So now I’m putting my character in a situation, and I’m letting the characters talk. Writing is (almost) fun for me this way. If I had to write linearly, I’m not sure I could get to the point of worrying about all the other stuff: flow, sequence, critical information…..

So today, let’s eat dessert first. Then I challenge you: write the scene you WANT to write…the one that you can’t wait to get to.

Most Inspiring Molten Chocolate Cake

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (splurge for the good kind)
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 large eggs PLUS 4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 T flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter your ramekins. (There’s never enough chocolate or butter in your life…like there aren’t enough great scenes.)

combine butter and chocolate. Melt together in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir and remove from heat.

Beat eggs and yolks. Add sugar. Beat until doubled in volume. Beat in chocolate mix, then flour. Divide batter into ramekins (I use six for this recipe) and cook 11 to 14 minutes. The sides should be set. The middle should be soft.


Although you will be tempted to eat this the second it comes out, give yourself enough time to create either a nice raspberry sauce…some whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It’s not bad cold the next day.