29 April 2016

Yummy Stuff

**My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is THE REVISION PROJECT. Topics I come across while I write the third draft of my novel, Uneven Lines.**

I stuck the fork right into the squishy, yellow center, picking up a big chunk and sliding it onto my tongue. It was sweet and tangy, the flavors erupting in my mouth. I snatched up the entire dish and brought it back to the couch and ate and ate and ate until my fork scraped up all the crust from the bottom. I just couldn’t stop myself. I didn’t even want to. 

One of my favorite things to write are food descriptions. This won't always be necessary in every story, but in UL, food plays a huge role, so it definitely pops up now and then. Writing about food can be fun--what it looks like, smells like, tastes like. It's a great chance to really dive into a description and cover all of the senses. 

But why food? Well, that will depend on the story. For mine, food represents not only an actual hunger, but also a more symbolic one, as well as an awakening of sexuality. With pie and cupcakes. Yeah, it may seem weird, but I think it works. It's one of the more fun parts of writing my novel. 

So where do I sneak in food descriptions? Well, most of them are at the beginning. If you read this post, you may remember that when Tom first meets Jordan, he brings him a pie (it's a math joke!). Chapter One ends with Jordan eating that entire pie in one sitting. His hunger is something that cannot be contained, but also exposes a vulnerability that he isn't quite ready to admit, either. 

I will fully admit that it gets bizarre at points, and I absolutely love it. One of my favorite scenes involves eating lemon bars while Jordan, is, well, by himself...doing something else at the same time (wink wink). It's so weird and yet it works. Every time I include a lengthy food description, what I'm hoping for is to actually show some other aspect other than just the fact that my characters are eating. There are other emotions and desires going on at the same time as a literal hunger for food. 

Why would you want to include food? If not for a symbolic reason, maybe just to show character traits. Maybe one of your characters likes to cook. Having them cook for another character could be a good way to show certain aspects of their relationship as well. Or maybe you just want to make your readers hungry...

Do you include food descriptions in your stories? Do you think you could eat a whole pie in one sitting??


  1. Depends on the pie. I tend to describe food as a way to set a scene (conversations around the table show up a lot in my historical novel), but I don't know if I've ever given food a symbolic roll. That's a good idea.

  2. It depends on the pie. If it's chocolate creme, then I could definitely do it.

    I mostly mention food in passing, so the reader knows that the characters are eating, but there's never anything really more than that.

  3. Yum, indeed. I almost tasted that pie and was sorry when the fork scraped bottom. Appealing to taste in your writing is wonderful. A lot of times writers focus on sight and ignore the all-important taste buds.

  4. I think the term for this is food porn. :)

    I do include food but in relation to the characters, but usually not specifics. Jebaliah is a cook, the best cook in all the provinces (her father will attest to that), and she fixes a few meals for the other characters. Cameron has a sweet tooth and practically turns into a little kid when given the opportunity to scarf down on his favorite berries--a sharp contrast to his usual gruff demeanor. Derek is always hungry, even more so in book 2, so he's always looking for something to eat.

    What's fun for me is figuring out regional foods. I sometimes have to think, "would that be readily available in a rainforest?"

  5. OMG I love lemon bars and I may never think of them the same way again. Thanks Jordan.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  6. I have used a few descriptions mostly of drinks.

    Susan Says

  7. Pies and lemon bars.... you are making me hungry :)

    For one of my MG books I have used quite a few food descriptions.

  8. That is what you call practicing your descriptive writing. I want a bite.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit