Do you drool when you read?

Drool worthy fiction

I’ve been reading the A Song of Ice and Fire (otherwise known as The Game of Thrones) series a lot lately, and while it is nothing like Harry Potter, they do have something in common that I enjoyed in both series: food.

Like many people, I have an understanding of addiction, not from the user perspective, but from the family perspective, so I know that while I’m not addicted to food, I do love to eat. It could easily be an addiction but for the fact that this one real vice that I have flogs me very quickly when I indulge. I put on weight like nobody’s business.

But I love food and I love to read about food. So when an author can make me drool over the dish descriptions as much as the plot, I’m sold. I find myself continually hungry when I read George RR Martin’s series. Strange, that for as much as I love to read a book that includes that piece of the puzzle, I’ve never really made dishes and entrée’s part of writing.

I defend myself that those series Martin and Rowling created were all about transporting a reader to another world. You can’t build a world without food I tell myself and you, Thea, are writing about character evolution. Yet some great series writers never mentioned food to any extent. I think of Tolkein. Do you remember any food in the LOTR trilogy? I don’t. there may be some in there, but i don’t remember it. So, alas, my defence falls flat.

I’d like to think I’ll give grave consideration to extolling the virtues of foodstuff in my next novel, maybe even in the series I’m writing that stretches from pre-culture Earth to apocalyptic Earth. Surely food will be important in building that world. Yes. I’ll make the note to try to weave in things like venison roasted with wild onions and honey, with mashed strawberries over flame charred griddle cakes, with pitted olives bobbing in a sea of pear wine, with wild hare stuffed with herbed butter and acorn mash.

Good heavens. I can do it: that all sounds perfectly delicious, doesn’t it? I should be able to write those things into my narrative. I have the skill.

But I won’t. I know I won’t. I might put a thing like pitted olives into the narrative but I won’t spend sentences describing it, making it real, making the reader’s mouth water because I’ve been taught to make the writing of details invisible, to have them blend in with the character’s wants and desires and … character. So I won’t give up the valuable word space real estate to food.

I’ll want to, but I won’t.

I’m too impatient to get the story done, maybe. Perhaps I’m just not good enough. It might even be because I just won’t think to do it. Most probably, it’ll be because I’d end up getting up from my desk and making myself a snack.

I do love to eat, you see, and writing those descriptions has made me hungry.

I just can’t afford to put on much more weight after reading Martin.


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Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction.

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5 comments on “Do you drool when you read?
  1. Nice post Thea. Food always intrigues me. I drool especially when I read up recipes or visit food blogs.

  2. alberta ross says:

    well the hobbits mentioned food a lot from scrumping apples to stealing mushrooms – samwise cocoterd a rabit stew at the bottom of mount doom upset because he had no herbs to spice it up – I believe he cooked some fish somewhere along the line (not sure of that one) there is the elven food and of course ale and magical drinks which refresh such as the ents produced – oh yes TLOTR has a great deal of food 🙂

  3. Sara Grambusch says:

    Food as a central theme in fiction can add a lot to a story. Maybe it adds a new level of connection for readers. Your idea of food from pre-culture Earth to post-apocalyptic sounds awesome. I couldn’t even begin to think of ideas for that.

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