Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cake Decorating=Revision

About a year and a half ago, my super-awesome aunt asked me if I wanted to take cake decorating classes with her. I said sure, because I really wanted to know how they could make something look so wonderful without using Elmer's glue and duct tape. Just so you know, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I LOVED it. It was amazing. Go here to find out more about how you can take the lessons locally from certified instructors. A picture of one of my cakes is below:

It has room for improvement, but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. (After all, what doesn't have room for improvement?)

Why am I telling you this? Because, I had this thought as I was thinking about revisions. I was actually trying to think of a way to describe revisions so that when I got really tired of it, I'd have something to pull me back up again. Then it hit me.


Okay, technically, I was not hit with a piece cake, but I was hit with a great analogy. Cake decorating is to revision, as The Brady Bunch is to query letters.  
Here's the idea:
Cake Decorating:                      Revision:
1. Make and bake the cake.                          1. Write the first draft.
2. Wait for it to cool.                                     2. Let it sit so you can get some perspective.
3. Carve the cake.                                         3. Cut up your WiP through editing.
4. Cover with crumb layer icing.                   4. Rewrite bits that don't work.
5. Roll out fondant and fit to cake.               5. Review all the new bits and make sure they gel with old.
6. Decorate to your heart's content.             6. Polish, and more polish, and oh, more polish.
7. Present it to the birthday person.            7. Send it to your last reader for approval of agent sending.
8. Enjoy.                                                       8. Get an agent. 

So, if your WiP is a cake, which part of the process are you in? Let me know in the comments! 

Don't forget to stop by here for a chance to win the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, among other things, from me, and here for a chance to win 5 critiques of your first chapter, synopsis, query letter, or excerpt. 


Meredith said...

Haha, great analogy! I especially like that Enjoy = get an agent: so true! And that cake is adorable!

Jennie Englund said...

Excellent metaphor.

It's only 7 here in Oregon, but that cake made me HUNGRY!!!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great analogy...Love the picture...

For me, I guess I'm lost licking the bowl in step four!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Awesome analogy, Bethany! You're brilliant. :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the analogy. I just wish getting an agent was as easy as enjoying the cake!

If you get a chance, I'm hosting a Halloween Haunting at my blog "Substitute Teacher's Saga" from 10/28-11/1 if you want to join in. There are prizes!

buddeshepherd said...

Mmmmm cake!

writergirl said...

I love this comparison between baking a cake and revision. The cake looks amazing!! :)