Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Eat At Joe's


When I first write a scene, it’s always pretty spare. I write my characters’ words and thoughts along with their actions, what they do with their hands, the expressions on their faces. Next I add some “where”…the room, the light, the chair (or bed) they’re using. As I go, I usually try to add a little of what they look like, what they’re wearing, even if there’s already been a full description earlier.

Later I go back and beef these up, try to keep my characters from being disembodied voices in an empty dark room. Although that might be fun…

Lately I’ve been paying close attention to a character’s senses. What does he smell like to her? What does the carpet feel like under his bare feet? Is that ferret making noises, or it that a cricket? Is she in pain? Does her heart ache?

And today’s topic: how does it (he, she) taste?

I’m writing a fantasy set in a distant magical/agrarian future. I figure they still have some of the same foods we have now, but the names might have changed. Language shifts, after all. So I've left some of the words the same as what we use now, and changed others so they leave a flavor…heh heh…of the original food in the reader’s mind.

Salmon and colouka eggs.
Kaf and carrots.
Plumjon juice, either plain or sparkling.

What do your characters eat and drink? Is food a big part of their lives or just something they handle on the fly? Have you ever made up entirely new tastes for your characters to experience? If you're not a writer, or even if you are, what are some favorite flavors you've read about?

Inquiring taste buds want to know.

3 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Interesting post, Meggan. I try to put in some food and not all the tasting has to do with food. ;) I have a scene in Marshal in Petticoats where the heroine spills jam on the hero and licks it off. I had an older friend(male) who read the book and said he'd never be able to think of it as only for bread anymore. LOL

If you are keeping a story real (or fantasy) you need to have food in it somewhere. It is an essential to staying alive and we have three meals a day. You can't write a story and not have them eating at least once and/or smelling the food. My heroine in my action adventure series has a high metabolism and is hungry all the time. Nearly every scene her stomach growls or she's eating something. It's one of the fun quirks I gave her and makes food a must in the books.

Fun topic!

Meggan McQuaid said...

Paty, food as sex-play and a hungry heroine; great ideas! I have discovered that the people of my world eat five meals a day, and they almost always eat en masse. Consequently, their entire schedule is built around their meals. "I'll meet you in the Great Hall at [lunch]. "Have the horses ready at two bells after [morning snack]." Food as sustenance, food as social event, food as time structure. I agree that food has to play a big role for a realistic story.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Entertaining post, Meggan! I have to be careful not to put too many food scenes in my books. With my Halo Legacy Series, Sunday dinner at their mom's house is a tradition of good food, reconnecting with siblings, and of life-changing announcements. :)

I haven't made up any new tastes--interesting thought!