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One Fictional Character’s Diet

June 19, 2013

I’m currently reading Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes. It’s a fantasy where the protagonist is Autumn Rain, a 30 year old woman who can read memories left on objects. Autumn is also a strict organic eater, and her diet comes up often in the book. I was glad to have an example of how diet could be a character quirk used in fiction, if I am ever to accomplish writing a character with a food allergy.

Unfortunately, it fell flat for me for one main reason – she made everyone she was with eat the same as her when she was around them, and there was no blowback. At one point, a romantic interest brings by donuts and coffee for two for breakfast, and she refuses, offering to make him a real breakfast instead. Admittedly, eggs and whatever else she served would be more filling than donuts, however, there was no hint of resentment that the guy had just wasted his money. No mention of what happened to that food either, if it was thrown out and wasted or if they donated it to a homeless guy, so there was no guilt or embarrassment on Autumn’s side either.

Another reviewer also found the quirk interesting, but thought it was mentioned way too often, which I can definitely understand. Of course, people with allergies have to be scanning constantly for it, but Autumn’s thoughts weren’t so much “is this organic” as they were dwelling on the virtues of organic food and the emptiness of processed food.

Have you read any books where the character’s diet is a character quirk? How was it handled?

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