Susan’s Inside writing: Soy Sauce Scene #1


It dawned on me over the weekend — after I’d posted the Soy Sauce Story, of course — that I could have written the same story, only fictionalized. From the point of view of one of my characters. (Isn’t Mitchell the perfect naif to play the stranger?)

And then my brain really kicked into gear, which was no small feat because I’m still pretty sick and headed to the doctor today. Maybe I only reached this epiphany because I’m sick; I’m not certain. But it goes like this: many of you, when you’ve nominated me for various writers’ blog awards, have said that you really like that I give you an inside look at the writing process. I haven’t seen myself doing much of that, so I’ll do it here and now.

Today, I’m going to post one alternate to the Soy Sauce Story. A fictionalized scene that shows how I take real life and put it into my fiction. Most of my outtakes are based on some real-life inspiration, you know. You just have to figure out what the real-life inspiration is.

Tomorrow, I’ll post another. And we’ll culminate this insider look with a Thursday Thirteen that ought to make you laugh pretty hard.

One quick note and then we’ll get to the fiction: This is about as rough as my writing gets. I haven’t gone over this for typos, for improvements or tweaks, nothing. So bear with me.

Soy Sauce Story — Val’s Point of View

Val sighed and pushed her hair out of her face. They were out of Ping’s brand soy sauce again. What was wrong with the place, that they couldn’t keep up with demand? Everyone knew Ping’s made the best soy sauce.

She turned to the woman behind the counter. “Excuse me?” she started, ready to chew the woman out. She worked there; surely she had some sort of control over the store’s inventory.

It wasn’t overly surprising that the woman ignored her. Val figured she was probably bristling with hostility and if the roles had been reversed, Val would have been reluctant to talk to someone so ready to explode.

What did surprise was when the woman yelled to someone in the back room. In perfect Mandarin, “Anyone want to come deal with the annoying slut out front?”

Val tried not to gasp or adjust her clothes. Yeah, so she was decked out; she and Daniel were on their way to a sex club and she’d asked if they could run in since the grocery was on the way.

“The annoying slut out front is pissed you’re out of Ping’s. Again,” Val snapped back, not caring that her Mandarin was rusty. Not caring about anything except this had been a wasted trip and that she’d have to spend half the week searching out the Ping’s.

The man popped out of the back room, full of apologies in both Chinese and English.

By the time Daniel came in to see what had happened to her, Val had promises that four bottles of Ping’s would be held for her on the next shipment day — Tuesday — and that in the future, all she needed to do was call when she ran low and bottles would be waiting with her name on them.

Even if her name would be Annoying Chinese Slut.



  1. karen!

    March 19, 2007 9:25 am

    “Isn’t Mitchell the perfect naif to play the stranger?”BR/–Yes!BR/BR/Great outtake… I love Val’s response.BR/BR/Also, I like this writing-process idea you have for the week. I’m looking forward to it.

  2. scooper

    March 19, 2007 9:28 am

    I love that. I just love it when people think that you don’t understand and speak another language. There’s little that’s funnier than showing them that you understand exactly what they said.

  3. bunnygirl

    March 19, 2007 9:36 am

    LOL! I love languages, so any chance to make a joke in, with, or about a language gives me the giggles. Annoying Chinese Slut, indeed!

  4. Sparky Duck

    March 19, 2007 9:44 am

    strangely, Val sounds hot!

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 19, 2007 10:29 am

    Val *is* hot, Sparky.

  6. Amy Ruttan

    March 19, 2007 1:39 pm

    ROMFL, so funny. I agree with Karen, Mitch is perfect for the stranger.BR/BR/Thanks for the laugh today. I needed that as it just started snowing AGAIN!

  7. littlebirdblue

    March 19, 2007 6:23 pm

    Sex clubs and soy sauce in the same scene!

  8. Lauren

    March 19, 2007 7:35 pm

    Very cool!! *thumbs up*

  9. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 19, 2007 7:54 pm

    Hey, birdie, just wait until my Thursday Thirteen… *grin*

  10. Breeni

    March 20, 2007 10:01 am

    As a retail manager, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the manager. Tee hee.BR/BR/But I got some giggles out of it!

  11. Susan Helene Gottfried

    March 23, 2007 10:57 am

    Honestly? It’s the stuff Kotobuki (the sushi restaurant near us) makes. That’s THE best.

  12. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » ShapeShifter Fiction: Val’s Cake (Trevor’s Song era… or beyond)
  13. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Inside Writing: Soy Sauce Scene #2

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