Thursday, November 22, 2012

Writing 101: Food in Books

Food and books go well together. When you're nice and full from your Thanksgiving feast, there's nothing as sweet as curling up with a good book. They seem to encourage snacking, and sometimes a book is so good it's difficult to pull one's eyes away to bother with looking at dinner. Why not cut right to it, and add food directly into your books? 


Even Characters Have to Eat

Everybody eats. It's one of the universal truths that ties all human beings together. I live in Kentucky, in the United States, and passionately love books and basketball. But when it comes to food, I'm not so different from the boy working on a farm that has no electricity in Asia  -- because I eat it, too. And that brings us right back to why you want to add food to your books. 
  • Realism
Anything that makes your characters feel more real to readers is a good thing, and there's nothing like food to do that for you. Have your character eating pizza with friends or stopping at the fast food burger joint; we've all done that, so we can all relate. Use food to help me relate to your characters, because it'll work. 
  • Descriptive writing
Food also allows you to be really descriptive, and that's exactly what you want your writing to be.  Describe the smell, the texture, the taste. Put me right there in that moment -- in that booth, eating pizza. Put me at the dinner table, cutting into the steak. 
  • Introduce something new
Books allow readers to go to new places, to meet new people...to try new things. Why can't one of those things be food? It can be exciting to read about a food that I've never tasted, to learn about some new dish. I read one book that actually gave me a recipe, and I was delirious about it. I went straight into the kitchen once I got to the end of the chapter, no kidding. Use food to give your readers something new and different, and it will make your writing more memorable and enjoyable.

 Food and Books

Add food to your books, and your readers will eat it up (pun intended). It brings more flavor to the page, and your fans will end up being hungry for more of your writing. I could do this all day, but now I'm the one getting hungry. So think about ways to add more food to your writing while you're eating today, and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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2 comments:

  1. Great post even if you made me hungry! In the past, I would neglect adding details about something like food until I started creating character profiles where I would write what kind of car someone drives or what particular foods he/she likes. Even if the details never made it to the story, it made the characters feel more real. Eating habits can say a lot about a character so this was a great reminder. Glad I came across your blog.

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  2. Great tip about the character profiles. I do something similar, but I've only used it in the past to keep details straight. I think adding even more information to create a richer, more fully realized character is a fantastic idea.

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