Melts in Your Mouth

These are crack to some people. Delicious crack.

I learned last night that M&Ms are made up of 25% blue candies, 25% orange candies, 12.5% brown candies, and a mixture of the rest of the colors.  I had no idea it was that simple and yet that scientific.  It reminded me of writing, and how formulaic and yet unique it can be.

Using a percentage can be invaluable when you are writing.  Thinking about what is most important to get in there, what is less important, and what needs to be left out all together (I’m looking at you, weird pretzel piece M&Ms) can help you craft your story as easily as if you had already planned the entire thing out.

Cultivating your own ideas is excellent, but pouring out your elements in exact proportions can be invaluable to the idea of your story.  Adding in elements too thickly, such as too much sex, or too much exposition at the beginning of the book, is something that can ruin a story that has a very good start.  Balance is very important, and should always depend on what kind of story you are writing.

If you are writing a zombie horror epic, I think it would probably be best if the sexy bits were part of that “assortment of red, yellow, and green” that you get with your M&Ms.  While the horror should definitely be your 25% of blue, the zombies your 25% of orange, and smart writing should always be your 12.5% of brown.

No writing is going to be as formulaic as this.  If it is, you’re doing something wrong.  But thinking about the M&Ms percentage mix can truly help you decide what is most important, what is least important, and what should probably be left out of your world-roving zombie horror epic. 

I’ll give you a hint.  It’s the sex.

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