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Food writing your way through the holidays

Food writing can offer of a delicious smorgasbord of sensory texture to your story.

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Food writing. Food writing isn’t limited to reviews of restaurants and test-kitchen recommendations. Adding food references to a story add dimension to characters, setting and plot. And what better time than the holidays to pay attention to the food on the table while taking notes for a story? Here’s a list of craft recipes to guide you from the first course to dessert.

Use food to drive plot.
Including references to food in your writing can help draw your readers in, even if food is not the main subject of the story. Find out here how former food writer and cookbook author Bharti Kirchner uses food throughout her work.

Be detailed in descriptions.
Taste. Texture. Aroma. All are vital components when referencing food in you writing. We turn again here to Kirchner who delves into how her passion for food has influenced her writing.

Blend food into fiction.
In her novel Delicious!, former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl uses food as the common thread that ties narrative together. Discover her recipe for success here.

Mix genres.
While writing about food may seem like a genre that is reserved for cookbooks or restaurant reviews, food is a universal language that can be an integral part of any form of storytelling. Check out how authors have used food in their works here and here.

Measure your words.
Sometimes the best descriptions don’t require a flourish. Jaime Joyce is a master of nuance in her 800-word piece published in The New Yorker, “Picnic in the Yard.” Find out here how she packed so many ingredients into such a short space.


Find the comfort.
Molly Birnbaum used her writing as a form of therapy after a car accident caused her to lose her sense of smell and put her culinary dreams on hold. Find out here how she fell in love with cooking and then in love with writing.





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