“It's a misery peculiar to would-be writers. Your theme is good, as are your sentences. Your characters are so ruddy with life they practically need birth certificates. The plot you've mapped out for them is grand, simple and gripping. You've done your research, gathering the facts; historical, social, climatic culinary, that will give your story its feel of authenticity. The dialogue zips along, crackling with tension. The descriptions burst with color, contrast and telling detail.
Really, your story can only be great. But it all adds up to nothing.
In spite the obvious, shining promise of it, there comes a moment when you realize that the whisper that has been pestering you all along from the back of your mind is speaking the flat, awful truth: IT WON'T WORK.
An element is missing, that spark that brings to life in a real story, regardless of whether the history or the food is right.
Your story is emotionally dead, that's the crux of it.
The discovery is something soul-destroying, I tell you. It leaves you with an aching hunger.”