Nothing brings people together like food. We all need it–there’s no getting around that fact. Beyond simply existing as sustenance, food is such a wonderfully rich expression of our humanity–we share our cultures, our family traditions, our own joy in the creating and sharing of something that does far more than keep us alive.
Which brings me to the matter at hand: your oh so yummy, #TastyTuesday writing prompt! Getting to know our characters can be as simple as knowing their favorite foods. Food is also a way to ground difficult or abstract narratives or complex worlds…showing what keeps your characters sustained and living contributes to world-building in the most relateable, practical ways. Think about the following questions for your main characters:
- What is your character’s go-to comfort food when stressed?
- What meal do they absolutely dread but know they can expect (and that they must partake of for fear of alienating others, hurting feelings, etc.) during family, civic, or social events?
- What types of meals do your characters associate with major life events such as deaths in the family, civil unions, or celebrations of birthdays or career achievements?
- What would be considered a super-rare delicacy in your character’s world? Is it a chocolate bar in the trembling hands of a world-weary dystopian society rebel? A rare, cave-dwelling fish or a moonflower that can only be harvested on the night of a lunar eclipse? Would your character have ever tasted such a thing, even?
- What food would be your character’s biggest “guilty” pleasure–as in, something they are embarrassed to admit to liking as violently as they do because it’s considered icky, weird, gauche, or any other number of reasons?
Have some fun thinking about these little things a bit and maybe even write a drabble, paint or draw an image of or create a collage for what mealtime looks like in your world. I know it’s helped me make my worlds more real and alive than they would be if my characters didn’t take a moment to sit and smell the legume protein mash or delicate star-blooms or fried green tomatoes. Happy creating, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raid the cabinets. <3