Korean cooking involves A LOT of marinating of meat and vegetables. I've never seen them eat meat plain. A little soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, onions, ginger, and sometimes spices are added for flavor. Then the meat must marinate in order to get the best results. Well, I realized it's the same with my stories!
This past week I revised a manuscript after getting some great comments from a writing friend. She suggested adding a little metaphor, more descriptive language, etc... to really make my story sing. So I did. And the results were stunning! Now I'm letting this baby marinate longer so that when I return to it, I can enjoy the freshness and flavor even more. I have also learned to wait after my critique groups have edited my manuscripts before revising. I used to jump right on the targeted issues in my stories. But if I let the story sit longer, when I return to the critiques, their comments make more sense.
The past two weeks my daughter has been learning about figurative language and adding to her interactive notebook. I'm going to use her list as a sort of mini-checklist for my stories to add more flavor to the marinade. Granted, you don't need all of these, but a sprinkling of some can make a difference!
Figurative Language Mini-Checklist
And just for fun, the above photo is a Korean meat called Bulgogi, a marinated sweet beef, that I make a couple times a month :) Below is a recipe that I got off the Internet somewhere. The photo comes from a restaurant in CA.
1 pound beef sirloin (thinly sliced, paper thin)
5 cloves garlic (grated)
¼-1/2 inch ginger (grated)
1 small onion (grated)
1 Asian pear (grated)
1 Fuji apple (grated)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 green onions (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix it all together and pour over the meat. I use either the pear or apple, not both. You can use the American pear, too. Let the meat marinate for at least an hour or even overnight. Stir fry. Mat-shi-gae-deu-sayo or Enjoy in Korean.
11/10/2013 09:08:10 pm
Thanks for pasting this post on Facebook. I never knew this blog existed. I love the alliteration "Marinated Manuscript" for this piece. I am a huge fan of Korean cooking because I being in the military you meet Army wives who are Korean.
11/11/2013 12:37:03 am
Great post and thanks for the recipe. I'll try it out!
11/11/2013 02:42:20 am
Awesome post, Tina! I love your idea for marinating manuscripts. I tend to jump right in and revise after critique partners suggest things, but I think you're right...it's better to wait a bit!
You're making my mouth water for that beef dish - and for your manuscript, too. :-)
11/11/2013 06:21:30 am
I'm completely with you on the marinating method. I have so many marinating at present, I fear they may turn to mush before I get back to them!
11/11/2013 08:04:29 am
11/11/2013 08:58:33 am
This is a great post, Tina! I'Ve used the term to talk to my kids about the choices they make in friends too .
11/11/2013 01:40:21 pm
Lovely post regarding the marinating of our work. Love the beef dish, thanks for the recipe Will try it out over the weekend.
Tina, Bulgogi is one of my favorite dishes! I learned about it when we were in Korea. A Korean friend gave me a recipe and I used it often but lost it when we moved. Thanks for the new recipe. She did not put pear or apple in hers but I will try this one out, too. My mouth is watering already!!!
11/14/2013 12:32:10 am
This post is just *the best*- not only the spot on ruminations about marinating our work, but the yummiest beefiest eat-me-est dish as a bonus.
11/16/2013 12:57:03 am
Yum! Thanks for the recipe and the reminder to let my manuscripts marinate. I like to let critique group comments marinate too, but sometimes I wait too long and then I forget to make all the changes needed. I guess it's a balance between marinating and not letting the manuscript sit until it becomes stale and forgotten. Or maybe I just need to be more organized about my editing process.
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Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!