Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing
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Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing



Creative writing in food writing at BlogHer Food '14

Creative writing in food writing at BlogHer Food '14



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Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing Presentation Transcript

  • INTENSIVE: Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing
  • Unleash Your Creativity in Food Writing Julie Ross Godar Executive Editor, BlogHer @Honeybeast
  • Why to Try to Write More Creatively Food blogs are not just about the lasagna! The recipe space is very full Readers are staying with blogs for stories and voice You have to decide who you want to be and what kind of creativity you want
  • Working on Creativity Does Not Equal Writing For Your Blog No edits, no audience: You are developing a skill. Not final: Creativity is ONE tool among many. You will need to make time to do this, since it’s not replacing your blog writing.
  • Working on Creativity Does Not Equal “Creative Writing” JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEES Individual Blog – 2014 Lisa Fain - Homesick Texan Elissa Altman - Poor Man's Feast Michael Procopio - Food For The Thoughtless
  • To Be a Great Cook …
  • To Be a Great Cook … You Have to Eat
  • To Be a Great Writer …
  • To Be a Great Writer … You Have to Read
  • Stimulating Creativity Does Not Equal Writing AMAZING Stuff All the Time It’s not about the pearls; It’s about the process. Once you make it a habit, you might use maybe 25% of what you write this way. (Maybe.)
  • How to Make It Happen • Get over “being in the mood” • Consider it a writing fitness routine • Morning pages • Force a perspective shift
  • EXERCISES TO DEVELOP CREATIVE THINKING (AND GOOD WRITING) Don’t edit or write for an audience; just do!
  • Writing With Constraints Resourceful puzzle-solving Helps make writing better, more unique and more specific. Try to evoke, rather than describe.
  • EXERCISE: Using no adjectives, describe (evoke) this pineapple. Use verbs, comparisons; tell how you feel about it.
  • HOMEWORK: Describe your favorite food using all five senses. Use adjectives you’ve never used for food before. Is it modest? Is it headstrong? Try out some active verbs. Use simile and metaphor (comparisons).
  • Explore the Music of Language Helps the reader hear the writing Helps you make new language associations Write dialogue: It helps you contrast your own voice against others’ and moves a story forward by showing conflict.
  • EXERCISE: Word association for sounds: in 60 seconds, write down words that sound like PARSNIP.
  • HOMEWORK: Write about a time you conflicted with someone over food, using dialogue. - Try to capture the voice of the other person as simply as possible. - Try to use dialogue to move the story along.
  • Emotion and Story “Show, don’t tell” Emotion is the key to storytelling: Humor, conflict, embarrassment, wonder. Finding emotion in your stories helps you find your own voice and purpose, and possibly even drill down into a niche. What makes you feel the most?
  • HOMEWORK: Recall the last thing you cooked with pleasure. How does that food make you feel? Why? Show your emotion by describing your reaction to it or how you interact with it specifically, rather than saying “I love it.” Be specific.
  • Surprise and the Start of the Story Grab the reader’s curiosity up front: “She WHAT? What happened next?” Helps you look at the story with a different perspective and see what’s important.
  • HOMEWORK: Take a story you told on your blog. Rewrite it: - Starting in the middle. - Starting with dialogue. - Starting with an unusual situation, observation, or turn of phrase.
  • HOW CAN ALL OF THIS HELP YOUR BLOG? Again: Maybe 25% will be usable. SAVE IT ALL.
  • Take Notes EVERYWHERE Makes you feel writerly and creative. Captures sudden ideas, even if they suck. You never know. Note overheard dialogue you like. You'll start getting an ear for different voices, find great turns of phrases to steal, and also develop a rhythm for "beats" in dialogue, the natural pauses in a conversation and what their timing might mean, which will start helping you craft your own dialogue.
  • Consider Notes and Exercises a “Swipe File” Search it for ideas later on. Find patterns in your writing, to develop and to break out of
  • Creativity Begets Creativity In time, this muscle will grow stronger, and you will be able to use it more easily in your regular writing – both for style, and to think of recipes and topics.
  • RESOURCES Writing Books Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacob (book, and at diannejacob.com) On Writing by Stephen King Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott Elements of Style by Strunk and White Morning Pages The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (good on process, though a little woo-woo) 750Words.com – morning pages tracking site Writing Prompts NaBloPoMo: www.blogher.com/nablopomo The Daily Post: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/ Great Writing Best Food Writing anthologies BlogHer Voices of the Year: http://www.blogher.com/announcing-2014-blogher-voices-photos-year Roots: Where Food Comes From And Where It’s Going
  • Grab This Presentation BlogHer.com/conferences “Hot from the Conference” liveblogs Or Julie.Godar@BlogHer.com