Before you start cooking, you get everything ready. You get out your ingredients, and check through them all carefully: making sure you are fully prepared for this nutritious endeavor!
Yet, very crucial to all of this is what you cook in. By jove, you wouldn’t fix stew in a pot that had yet to be cleaned from the last batch of chili you had made, would you? Well, I seriously hope you wouldn’t. Cause that would taste weird. All depending on the kind of stew, of course. Not to mention the kind of chili.
So please, enter with me into the storage room. The storage room, you ask? Whyever for? To select our pot! But a storage room? Don’t you just keep them under the stove? Well. I suggested that to Alphonse, but he promptly laughed me to scorn for thinking I could keep all the story cauldrons under a teeny weeny little stove top in a equally teeny weeny cabinet. Yeah. He was right of course. Not enough room. So. Behind the stove is the storage room. And to there we now adjourn from the kitchen.
Here, upon racks, hang row after row of cauldrons and pans. Glittering and shining, dark and well worn. Small and large. Stainless steel and cast iron, side by side. Here rest every possible thing you could ever desire to create a masterful soup, as far as the vessel in which the dish we shall prepare goes.
But why does it matter? Well. How are you planning on telling your story? What methods do you plan on using? What WORLD will you use to convey your tale?
You see, writing isn’t so simple as to sit down and just begin spinning your tale.
And neither can you prepare just some soup in just SOME random pan. For one, size is a key factor. Not to mention, some burn faster than others, and some even give a different taste to the food (cast iron skillets, for instance, come first to mind).
So. Will you choose the Black Cauldron in which to prepare your soup? (made VERY famous by Lloyd Alexander.) Or something different? Perhaps a simple stainless steel pan will suffice. Not small, yet not large. After all, if this is a story that is in the next town over, maybe you don’t need a large pot in which to boil up a whole entire new world.
Then again, maybe you need a pressure cooker in which to compile all the things of this real world into a form that the human mind can accept and understand, and not be horrified by the brutality of truth.
So. Choose carefully what pan you will cook with. Each story TYPE can be told in ANY world. But each STORY only belongs to one, and that, my friends, is why you must consider the pots and pans before you, and look at them with diligence and care.
Now, before someone goes and accuses me of not considering Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, or Choices, by L.E.R. Jenkins, or the Door Within, by W.T. Batson, or any other such novel, in which more than one world is involved. Well. Allow me a moment to shed the uses of the Story Soup analogy, and say straight forward of what I speak. I do not speak of worlds, such as Narnia and Earth, Alleble, and the Lands Beyond, etc. I speak of the STORY WORLD. If you will… the *genre*.
So. Consider — your story — the options. Weigh carefully. And choose with wisdom thine soup pot.