Hungry hungry MC’s

My characters never used to eat. Even in my longest manuscripts, my MC and friends would go for days, weeks, months without having a bite. Sometimes they’d drink, but only rarely. When I had more writing experience, though, I discovered something, people like to read about food.

I’ve never written a book about food. I am in no way a foodie, and I hate to cook, but I’ve found that even I like hearing that characters take a break from their busy lives and eat a little something now and then. It makes them more personable; I can relate to them. Characters in sci-fi/fantasy are often larger than life, but even superheroes need breakfast.

So, I began to sneak it in, a light snack of fruit here, a roasted chicken there, and it’s always gotten a positive response. Now, I find myself looking for it in the stories I read. It frustrates me when food appears but is never eaten, or never appears at all. Like anything, it can be over-described, but during the long hike through the wilderness, I feel closer to the characters when they break and eat trail mix.

Do you let your characters eat? Is your MC starving? Or do you sneak in a parfait from time to time?

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8 thoughts on “Hungry hungry MC’s

  1. Not only do my MCs eat, but one of them once had to go to the bathroom in the woods.

    Eating and/or food is good. I probably don’t use it enough, but it’s a good tool for showing world building.

  2. Yes my characters eat.
    My main character is indeed starving (exercises almost continuously, so hungry continuously) although that is mostly mentioned as an aside .
    Other than that, food and drink do appear a number of times trough my work, never in great detail, but definitely there.

  3. My new novel opens with a scene at the dinner table–complete with meatloaf and mashed potatoes. As for the parfaits you mention, I eat them before they make it into my stories.

  4. Barbara, I have no idea why, but now that you mentioned it, I realized that I let my characters go weeks without eating! And I LOVE eating (I can’t cook though) 🙂 Next time I write, I’ll make sure to include some delicious pasta in there!

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