You Gotta Eat Something …
What a character chooses to eat also gives readers insight into their personality. In my stories, characters eat snacks, have lunch, get nauseous. To create engaging, adult commercial fiction, I have characters doing everyday things (like eating food) as well as triumph over conflict.
Characters in fiction can oftentimes be so involved in their ‘drama,’ it seems like they don’t have time to take care of themselves. People eat and sleep and have colds. They are not always plotting their next move. To give my characters more realism, I try to give them ‘ordinary’ stuff to do. Sometimes what a character is eating is part of the setting, or writers can use ‘how’ a character is eating something to convey emotion or foretell action.
Sometimes we like weird stuff. Rick Phillips is no exception, as he’s a fan of peanut butter. Well, that’s not the weird part. He happens to enjoy PB&Js with sardines on the side. This actually came out of a dare during Rick’s college days that turned out to have the opposite intended effect. It’s part of Rick’s backstory, but yeah, the dude likes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a few of the tiny fish on the side (mustard sauce is fine). He's even passed his love for it on to his daughter, Alna.
And, it’s funny, did you notice: we never “saw” Rick actually eating that weird combination, did we?
No need for a PB&J recipe: if you’re over three, you’ve likely had one in your lifetime. There are ways however to improve upon the lunch staple. Click here for ideas on unique ways to enjoy an old favorite.
One particular food item having some importance in the story: buttermilk pie.
If you’ve read LSB, you know why it’s mentioned several times.
If you haven’t, well, what are you waiting for? Click here to join the S.F. Powell readership.
If you’ve never tried buttermilk pie, click here for a recipe.
And let’s see, there was …
Plus many others. Oh yeah, the cast of Like Sweet Buttermilk certainly enjoyed a meal or two!
Even with all of the family drama, grief, and mourning going on, the Winthrops still managed to get in a bite to eat. Well, Mallory, Todd, and maybe Ruth got in something to eat. Jeff Winthrop? Well, eating was not a priority for him as the story takes place.
One of my favorite scenes in OB is in Chapter 3, when Mallory and Todd share a Dagwood sandwich in Todd’s room. Use of the Dagwood sandwich is actually an example of the author putting something of themselves into the story, as that food item has personal meaning for me.
As long as there are multiple layers to make it official, a Dagwood sandwich can be as a big (and cumbersome) as you’d like. Click here to check out a sandwich recipe Mallory and Todd may have eaten.
on the menu for Obscure Boundaries ...
By novel’s end, Naomi had a taste for more Ghanaian food but thoroughly enjoyed Leslie’s version of Banana Upside Down cake.
Click here for a recipe for Okro Stew.
And after that Okro Stew, check out a Banana Upside Down cake recipe to top it off …
Within the world of fiction, there are so many ways to bring a story to life to make it enjoyable. Including a mention of food items is a very subtle, but effective way writers draw the reader in, making the reader comfortable, making them … turn the page.
Sharing the joy is fun. Book clubs do that by their very nature: reading a story together, sharing their insights, disputing a plot point. This page is for book clubs: now fans of S.F. Powell books.
Every now and then, an author attends events and participates in other happenings to meet and greet and get interpersonal with fans, authors, and all-around lovers of the written word.
In Broken Benevolence, Dr. Alexander provides trauma counseling to crime victim, Cecily Brooks. Attacked during a home invasion, Cecily has more than her personal mental stresses to overcome.