Friday, November 25, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

One thing I always try to do in my stories is keep my readers on their toes. I want them to be surprised when a twist pops up in the book. This is something I keep an eye out for when I'm doing revisions. I always go through and chunk out my scenes, noting on Post Its the characters, the setting, what's going on, and the POV for each scene. These go up on my cork board. Then I can go through and see exactly what needs to be added, cut, expanded, condensed, etc.

It's during revisions when I try to add those subtle layers - make that character a little deeper, make that motivation a little more complex, make that first kiss a little more spine-tingling ;-) It's all about the layers. And the more unexpected those layers can be, the better.

So, although yesterday was Thanksgiving, I will not be sharing a Thanksgiving recipe today. In honor of layers (and my birthday which is today) :D here is my all time favorite "layered" recipe.

Mom's Chocolate Cake


1 3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

(See the directions for the following ingredients)

1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water


Cream sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. sift together dry ingredients and alternate with 1 cup milk, adding to creamed mixture. Mix the 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 boiling water together and add to mixture. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

I usually double this recipe to make 3 or 4 round layers and you end up with something scrumptious, like this:

*ahem I promise not all of my recipes will involve chocolate and/or cake :D But gotta go there for the birthday post ;-) *


  1. There's no need to give an excuse for sharing chocolate cake. :)
    Happy Birthday, Michelle!

  2. OH EM GEE That looks to die for!!! *drools*