Friday, November 4, 2011

The Most Interesting Thing: Food for Thought

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
- George Bernard Shaw

I've been thinking a lot about food lately. Mostly because I spent the past three months in physical and emotional agony due to something I let slip into my diet--soy. Good riddance! I'm feeling much better now, thank you. 

Then I noticed a lot of my writing partners talking about the benefit of food journals.

And then I got to thinking about how food comes into play in the stories we read and write. Food, or the lack thereof, has been a major issue in my last two novels. In my first novel, I had my MC enjoy all the fabulous treats that are forbidden to me. My latest character has a thing for gummy worms. I've become a gummy bird. Hmmm.

I've also noticed the effect food has on me when I'm reading novels. The mere description of Chinese food sent me racing for the phone to have my husband bring home take-out last week. 

So how does food influence your writing and reading? Do you ever find yourself reaching for the foods in your stories or the stories you are reading? 


  1. I remember reading an interview with JK Rowling about how, when she was describing Hogwarts, she made a point of mentioning all the food at the banquet because she remembered as a child how much she used to think about food and candy. And I have to agree, those are some of the most endearing moments in HP: the descriptions of the lavish feasts!

    I think particularly when you're writing for younger readers, you can use food to create a sense of warmth ("it's just like my mom makes!") or feelings of alienation ("uck! What is this stuff? I'm not eating it!")

    OK, now I want Chinese food, too. Thanks, Angelina. :)

  2. If you like food in books, I recommend SILVER PHOENIX by Cindy Pon. There are plenty of good action scenes, too!

  3. KLM--You're welcome.

    Jenn-Thanks for the rec!

  4. Oh, I love Silver Phoenix. :)

    I have trouble finding ways to slide food into my stories, for some reason. Sometimes I just forget, too, and the characters go days without eating . . .

  5. My characters never seem to eat in my novels - except one boy who was always eating breakfast for some reason :-)

  6. I think lack of food is a really powerful thing for young readers. I just reread The Hunger Games and the scene when Haymitch sends in the feast by the creek is powerful and the comfort goes along with the comfort of the moment.

    Food, like sentence length, or verb choice, can be used to paint the mood of a scene. Ripe cherries - yum. Raw meat - not so yum.

    Loved how this post got me thinking Angelina.

  7. I remember, many manuscripts ago, one of my MC's was obsessed with yogurt. Maybe it was because I was a vegan at the time and wouldn't eat yogurt.

    I agree with Silver Phoenix. It's a foody book.


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