One of the pleasures of being a freelance writer is the ability to carve time out for yourself during the day and once a week I reward myself with a meet-up with fellow writers. We gather in a nearby cafe to discuss our current works-in-progress, provide supportive but sometimes downright blunt critiques and the occasional shoulder to cry on.
It’s a little circle of trust, something every writer needs to cultivate.
Often our conversations roam away from literature to life, the universe and …… coffee.
I’ve written before about how I struggle with genre. I’m never too sure where my words fit in the grand scheme of literary endeavour.
But these weekly events have given rise to a whimsy of mine – writing styles as coffee.
The espresso (aka “short black”) is the foundation and the most important part to every coffee. As a literary style, espresso writers prefer short and flash fiction, tackle dark themes and don’t waste words.
A short macchiato is similar to an espresso but with a dollop of steamed milk and foam to make it more mellow. As writers, machiatos will occasionally stray from the short form to novellas and will spend a little more time on descriptive passages.
A long macchiato is the same as a short macchiato but with a double shot of espresso. So as writers they’ll favour the novel, may indulge in descriptive passages but will still have a dark, dark centre.
A ristretto is an espresso shot that is extracted with the same amount of coffee but half the amount of water. This means writers who create death-themed haikus or flash fiction murder mysteries. Beware the Ristretto writer!
Long Black (Americano)
A long black is hot water with an espresso shot poured on top. A long black writer will dabble in detective mysteries.
A latte is an espresso based drink with steamed milk and micro-foam added to the coffee. Much sweeter than the others, a latte writer will produce superb short stories for women’s magazines and novel-length romances to stir the heart.
A cappuccino is similar to a latte but has more foam and chocolate on top. This is the writer whose passages of purple prose leave you as breathless as their heroes and heroines.
A flat white is the same as a cappuccino without the foam or chocolate. Flat white writers are the salt of the literary earth, providing readable, fast-paced and fascinating stories that you wish you had written yourself.
A mocha is a mix between a cappuccino and a hot chocolate. Mocha writers haven’t yet found their niche – they are stuck halfway between the wonders of literary fiction and the sweetness of popular story-telling. Move on.
An affogato is a simple dessert coffee with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of an espresso shot. Affogato writers have cornered the market in holiday reads.
So which coffee are you?