Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yummy or ick?

Perhaps you'll never mention anything in your story or writings about food. But what if your character is a food critic or a chef. What if they are a waitress or just going out to lunch or dinner. What if another character has a romantic evening planned with tasty things to set the mood or woo someone? What if someone gets knocked to the ground and gets a mouth full of dirt or sand? Or they get smacked or are in an accident and they get blood in their mouth? What if they are a Vampire or other supernatural creature? What does it all taste like? What can you liken what your character tastes to? 

Obviously I am suggesting that you have a day where you taste things, however I don't want you to go anywhere near anything that jeopardizes your health. And if you are a vegetarian, don't go eat meat. Actually don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable or will make you sick. The idea is to get an idea of what things taste like so if you are allergic to certain things or don't want to try it, just ask someone who likes those things and won't be hurt if they eat or have eaten them.

Start simple. You could go to a restaurant and order something new or one of your favorites and take notes about each thing you taste. Or try cooking something at home. Either way simply enjoy the food, feel the textures, concentrate on the spices, and how it makes you feel. 

Expand. Taste things that aren't food, that are safe. Don't go eat a fist full of dirt or sand, and certainly don't do yourself or anyone else any harm. Be safe about it. If you're going to lick a window or a rock, make sure there are no rough edges. BE SAFE! 

Apply what you learn or know to a character in someway. Does your character like TV dinners due to their simplicity because they have a busy life? Do they have any thoughts on if they taste good or if they are simply a means to get by because they don't have the time to go out for food? Are they just too lazy to cook? Do you have a character who only eats organic or maybe they will only eat meals prepared by a chef and don't cook? What if your character can cook and very well, what sorts of things do they like to cook? What if they don't eat food? What would you say a soul tastes like? 


  1. And even more interestingly what does a nasty soul taste like versus a good, pure soul? This is fun - I want to use this as an excuse to go out to eat later.

  2. In my experience, some of the greatest scenes in books are the ones revolving around food, because eating scenes offer so much room for characterizations. Character mannerisms, character likes and dislikes, their table etiquette. So I love scenes about food, sadly food is one of the hardest senses to describe. I always remember a scene from City of Angels, discussing the artist who can describe the taste of food so well. I definitely thin it's a good exercise to try describing your characters relationship with food. :)

  3. I have many of my characters eat, sometimes a bit too much. But, that happens to be how they act. I have two characters, and elf and a sorcerer that are chocaholics. My elf also has a habit of using the shovel method while eating. Some of my male vampire characters cook for their mates, having been instructed to do so by their parents. It's another way to show a character's quirks. I want to write a tea dueling scene somewhere...