Underused Plot Possibilities?

The other night at dinner FD and Mr. FD were talking about novels about cooking/food.  We really couldn’t come up with that many.  Sure, there are plenty of great individual scenes of cooking or eating in novels, but few are the novels that are specifically about food and cooking, with chefs as protagonists, or great gourmands or gourmets as romantic hero or evil villain.  And those book that did come to mind were mostly not by US authors.  There’s Like Water for Chocolate, and The Debt to Pleasure, and Hunger. But in the US?  Mr. FD reminded FD that Tony Bourdain has written novels with a lot of food and cooking — but also a lot of violence and crime, which end up as the main plot points.  And there are a number of mystery series with caterers or restaurant reviewers as protagonists.  Most of which are pretty bad, usually “cosy” in style and often interrupted by recipes that are really don’t move one toward the kitchen.  Its a shame, really, since the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe novels provide a real model of how to write about food in a way that makes readers look forward to their next meal.

Similarly, FD couldn’t think of a novel in which Leap Year Day was a plot point.   But a quick on-line search came up with a site that lists a few, including some from the nineteenth century (you may remember that the Pirates of Penzance turns on a Leap Year birthday).  Many of these books are for children, who may find the concept of Leap Year Day more interesting than adults, who may not be able to remember when the ideas of time and dates were still capable of causing wonder.

There are probably many other plot foci that aren’t being used very often, even as there are also plot lines that are used over and over again.

Comments are closed.