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February 17, 2014


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What a delightful experience. Memorable and special.

Mysti Berry

Thank you Anne!


Love this! Then thought about your question at the end....

On the whole, I completely agree that characters eating/drinking can be off stage somewhere and just slows things down when your carefully crafted words can be put to better use.

Unless, of course, there's something about it that adds something to the character. It might add dimension and/or knowledge - Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes/John Watson sprang to mind when I first read your question. For some characters, the ritual of morning coffee/tea or having a beer can add a comfortable richness and connection to a character, and explain lack of focus or a forced sense of comfort in a perilous or chaotic situation. (I was recently reading a Jim Butcher Harry Dresden book and experienced this.) For others, it can be a part of the necessity of life and the structure of the day. (Priscilla Royal's Medieval Mysteries would be a good example.) But believability? As long as they're not violating their nature - the one you've worked so hard on for we readers - food is not a requirement.

Mysti Berry

Great point, Rox!!!! Priscilla knocks it out of the park with every aspect of her character's physical world, IMHO.

I think there may be a wicked lunch scene or two in the next book.

Susan Shea

I've never eaten there and always wondered. You make it sound well worth the trip!

Diana Orgain

That's awesome! I love Paris! I lived there for a while and your post made me want to visit again soon.

James J Lamb

Well, every scene requires a setting, and it's been said that setting should always be another important character in your story.
So, why not make the setting colorful and interesting, and use it to compliment the primary action?
If you flit through all the possible food/eating settings, from home to fast food to restaurant to state dinner, etc., each one implies something about what's going on in the story.
My caveat, just don't spend so much time on the small details that the reader does drift away from the storyline. - J. J. Lamb

Michael A. Black

Great picture, Mysti. It almost made me want to go to Paris to see the place, but why go there when they have an Eiffel Tower in Vegas? As far as characters eating, I think it depends. Certainly, you can make a case for it: I eat, therefore I'm jam. Pass the toast, please.

Vinnie Hansen

Mysteries without food! I'm currently reading Cindy Sample's Dying for a Daiquiri. I enjoy the food references from the informational description of an imu pit for kalua pig to the amusing riffs on Donkey Ball snacks. Besides new info and amusement, food, as Priscilla points out, can characterize. Think of Martha Grimes' Aunt Agatha scarfing down Melrose Plant's petit fours or Kinsey Milhone slapping together a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. And then there's food as the vehicle for murder as in the peanuts of The Da Vinci Code.


Parisian food. What could be better. I still remember eating lemon ices in Montmartre.

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