I cane across this at Kyra Halland’s blog (another indie author, who’s now on the blogroll), which she picked up from The Daring Novelist’s blog – write a post about what your characters do for breakfast. As she says:
What a person chooses to eat for breakfast tells you something about them. What they choose when they can’t have what they normally have can tell you more. (And what they choose when somebody else is buying tells you more also.) Food relates to culture as well as taste, and a person’s choice will be influenced not only by the culture they are currently surrounded by, but also the culture they were raised in.
For the next two weeks, I’m going to be blogging about what various of my characters eat for breakfast in different situations. I’d like to challenge other bloggers out there — both writers and readers — to write a post about the breakfasting habits of their favorite characters.
Kyra’s post about her characters and their breakfast habits is here. As for my characters…
Sara and Brian’s stories are set in the present-day (well, close to it – we’re up to December of 2000 in book #5) and in middle-class America (specifically the suburbs of Washington, DC in the last two books). But the thing that really defines their meal choices is the fact that they both work demanding jobs (she’s a doctor, he’s an aerospace engineer currently working at the Pentagon), and more importantly, they’ve got four kids. So on a weekday morning, time is at a premium; Sara and Brian aren’t usually sitting down for a civilized breakfast on a weekday morning, they’re grabbing a bite of toast or cereal or whatever else is handy in between getting dressed for work and wrangling the kids. Oh, and the coffee – there’s always coffee.
On weekends, when there’s often (but not always) more time, breakfast is more civilized; Sara and Brian make an effort to have everyone sit at the table together. If Sara’s mother (who lives half a mile away) is there, breakfast will be pancakes (possibly chocolate-chip pancakes) and bacon hot off the skittle. If not, and it’s Sara or Brian cooking, it’ll be frozen waffles and pre-cooked mocrowaveable bacon.
Eating out, both Sara and Brian tend towards the sweet rather than the savory for breakfast. They’ll order pretty much the same thing out that they’d make at home. And, partly due to the kids and partly to their own temperments, when they do go out for breakfast, it’s more likely to be at IHOP or the equivalent than someplace fancy. For Sara especially, when eating out, comfort and familiarty are the most important things.
If Brian and Sara find themselves at a fancy restaurant, they’ll still gravitate towards the familiar – although they both appreciate good food, neither of them are true “foodies”. What they’d appreciate more is the time to themselves, something that’s at a premium with four children.by