In the wee hours on Saturday, I’m taking off for the first Food Blogger Camp at Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico. I’ll be teaching a class on Writing with the Senses, and looking for a few good laughs if people write over-the-top pornographic examples.
There might also be magical prose like this:
“The crust is as crunchy as a butter cookie, so brittle that it cracks audibly when you press it with your fork; grains of cinnamon sugar bounce off the surface as it shatters. The bottom crust is softer than the top, but browned and still breakable. Where the top and bottom meet, there’s a knotty cord of dough that becomes impregnated with enough fruit filling to make it chewy. Inside is a dense apple pack of firm Ida Red crescents bound in syrupy juice.”
– Jane and Michael Stern, The Ultimate Apple Pie, Gourmet
Why is this paragraph good? Notice how the Sterns describe in slow motion as they evoke the senses. You watch that fork and hear it shatter the surface of the pie. You imagine the chewy crust and the syrupy apples. Now appreciate the powerful action verbs: cracks, bounce, shatters, impregnated. And admire their use of analogy (crunchy as a butter cookie) and metaphor (a knotty cord).
Since I’ll be in Mexico for a week where Internet service is limited, I’m announcing my first writing contest. While I’m gone, I invite you to experiment with these techniques and submit your writing below in a comment. Give me 150 words maximum of sensuous writing. More will disqualify you.
Deadline is January 16, when I return. The following week I’ll announce the winner, who receives a free hour of my consulting time, to discuss
- blogging or writing samples
- writing career
- questions about recipe writing or freelance writing
- book ideas, etc.
Be funny, be creative, but most of all, get readers to see it, smell it, hear it, touch it and taste it in their minds. Good luck!