May 16, 2014 Prompt #15
To wrap up Sensory Week, it’s our long-awaited taste prompt. To enrich this exercise, I’ve included other senses as well. Tuck a napkin under your chin and let’s get started.
- Choose a fruit that you enjoy (or dislike) for this exercise. Other foods can work too; you may need to adjust the instructions. Follow the steps below, noting experiences, associations, and responses.
- Hold the fruit in your hand. Briefly describe its weight and texture.
- Smell the fruit. Does your mouth start watering? Puckering?
- Peel the fruit, stopping frequently to describe the experience, noting memories and questions that arise. If the fruit isn’t peel-able, skip this step or slice the fruit instead.
- Touch the fruit to your tongue. First impressions?
- Section or slice the fruit if needed, then take a small bite. How do your tongue, lips, and mouth react? Describe the experience.
- Continue eating. Continue writing.
How This Prompt Can Strengthen Your Writing
- Encourages you to write slowly and thoughtfully, since several steps are involved.
- Helps you bring sensory details into your work.
- Encourages association and memory recall.
- Imagine a person eating this fruit for the first time. What would surprise them?
- Describe how different people might approach eating a pineapple, pear, or banana. How does how they eat reflect who they are?
Variations for Writing Groups
- If the season is right (usually late summer or fall in the U.S.), try tasting and describing three different apple varieties.
- If available, compare, and describe eating an orange, tangerine, and blood orange. Or a standard lemon and a Meyer lemon. Or a grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime. What do these different fruits conjure up for you?
- If available, try a fruit that is new to you. Some fruits I hadn’t eaten as a child include a star fruit (or carambola), horned melon (or kiwano), and even a fresh fig.
What did you think of this writing prompt? Share your thoughts.