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The Pancake Analogy

A pancake and crumpet

The Pancake Rule As Expressed by Joe Moore

I just found this gem of an article by Joe Moore over at The Kill Zone Blog. In a nutshell, the rule as stated by the popular mystery writer says that novels are like pancakes in that you have to throw the first one out, so the rest will turn out good. This is necessary because the batter might stick to the pan….or there might be too much oil on the bottom or perhaps the heat is not turned up high enough. In fact, this recent post at The Kill Zone, a website that features commentary and advice from at least a dozen mystery writers, is not the first article to tackle the strange similarities of the two, for the concept has been floating around a few select literary circles for a while.

Practical Applications

So what can novice writers learn from ‘the pancake rule’. I guess thing that can be learned here is to not to expect your first novel to turn out perfect. In fact, there is a pretty good chance that the final draft will be long a way from perfect and will likely find a home in your top desk drawer. Nonetheless, there are exceptions, where a first novel gets published, sells and even goes on to be very popular. Just don’t count on it.

Who Is Joe Moore?

Joe Moore currently lives in Florida and is co-president emeritus of the International Thriller Writers. He has co-authored many  many novels with Lynn Sholes, including The Last Secret, The Grail Conspiracy, The Phoenix Apostles and The 731 Legacy. His books have been translated into 24 languages and enjoyed by many around the world.

Swedish Pancakes from Wikipedia

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