Writing Prompt Story Starter: Food, Glorious Food

Shutterstock / Sven Hansche ©

Our writing prompt this week is . . . FOOD!

Food can be the starting point for a good story. First of all think about the circumstances of the meal. Is it people getting together after a long absence? Is a romantic dinner for two, or a full-blown busy family meal?

Describing the location is the first way to set the scene. It could literally be anywhere and any era. This gives you a great opportunity to give a feeling of location, especially if you’re writing a period story. Food from wartime, Victorian times, Georgian times and even the sixties is very different to what we serve now.

Aaaah, Bisto!

Aromas can trigger memories too. Close your eyes and think about what your favourite food smells like. Describe it for the reader and take them directly to the table.

Food is visual too. Sumptuous roast dinners, steaming bowls of pasta can draw the reader into your location and mood. Or perhaps you could go to the opposite end. Hard, mouldy bread, thin unappetising soup can suggest a less pleasant experience, but can transport you to a school or prison.

Gather round

Imagine you’re people-watching in a restaurant. Are people chatting so much they’re forgetting about their food? What are they speaking about? Is there a couple staring at their plates and being very quiet? Is there a big family gathering?

Back in time

Maybe your story could have a beloved recipe or recipe book at its core. Food provides many sounds . . . sizzling, frothing, bubbling, and the aromas are endless.

All this talk of food is making us hungry!

To choose another “Friend” Story Starter, click here.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!