I recently bought 3 books, these are: “The Royal Wedding”, “Don’t Blink by James Patterson”, and “How I Became a Novelist by Steve Hely.” Among these books, I am fascinated at the latter one. At first, I thought it was a how-to-write kind of a book, but it wasn’t. It’s a story of Pete Tarslaw in his journey to writing, on becoming a famous novelist, and to make his immediate decision come true. Well, I wouldn’t detail everything about the book, not in this post, one reason: I’m not yet done reading it.
However, in the book Pete describes his rules for writing his first novel, he sets 16 rules. One that catches my attention is his rule #9–
At dull points include descriptions of delicious meals.
Well, what more can I say? I laughed really hard upon reading that line. I mean, you know, writers really do that–if not all, at least most of us. Words are writer’s toy, but often times, writers lack words and we experience writer’s block. That is inevitable.
I understand however, Pete’s sentiments when writing that rule–one reason: people love foods. When a writer struggles picking up his imagination, when he feels like the scenes in his story are turning dull, and couldn’t bring any creative descriptions towards the readers, including delicious meals actually bring colors to the setting.
At some point in your book, there are scenes that are slowly boring the audience, however, including a little descriptive scenes about snacks or foods, will make a little difference. On the second thought, it can make your reader go hungry and crave some foods–in short, it stimulates the readers’ mind. Consider this simple scenario from a book I’m currently writing–
“We’re having ice cream today!” Gertrude said as she opened her bag. “I’ve brought a bowl and spoons with me!” She added then we gathered around her.
Our eyes spanned in excitement as we saw her mixing the flavored iced candies together. She bought many cream sticks. They were flavored chocolates, strawberries, and peanuts. She would gush out the cream on top of the mixed iced candies, and it would serve as toppings. While I was watching her making the so-called ice cream, my mouth was already watering.
Chapter 4, THE COVENANT
I believe that foods are a constant decorative accessory to any novel. In fact, including them are not just accessory to the characters, but they bring the audience to an international tour–where foods around the world can meet in a single chapter.