Layer Cake: How to Bake the Best Book

Okay, in case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a huge Suzanne Collins fan. From a readers perspective, Hunger Games was a story that rocked my world because it was unlike anything I’d read. A compelling heroine, who I was rooting for from page one. A setting that sparked my imagination. A plot that held my interest . . . for three books!

From a writer’s perspective, wow, she still rocks.

I’m revising a manuscript, and as I do so, a mental checklist is slowly being applied. It’s a technique I use in my 5th grade writing class, where students go through their writing and make sure they’re using similes or alliteration, etc.

My students loved the Hunger Games as well. So, in today’s post, I thought I’d share with you a discussion our class had about writing. How Suzanne Collins layered her story, and ways we, as writers, can add depth to our plots.

I know you might be thinking, come on already, you’re blogging about a 5th grade writing lesson. But keep reading, you might be surprised by what you know, and don’t know.
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Creating the Perfect Parfait

The word “parfait” means “perfect” in French, and truly, the parfait is one of those desserts that, in my opinion, isn’t given its due. On the surface, a parfait appears a rather simple concoction. There is no blending of ingredients, no baking, no need for dough to rise or for alcohol to burn off. There’s no risk of milk curdling or over-beating of eggs.

Yet many times, in my opinion, the parfait is done wrong. To me, the perfect parfait consists of alternating layers of smooth and creamy, fresh and fruity, hard and crunchy. Without a substantive layer of granola or cake, a parfait is nothing but a dish of pudding. You need something into which you can sink your teeth.

parfait / パフェ

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kankan/39427698/ (Photo by Kanko)
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