I still have a few questions. I want to explore the best way to express the connection between the two characters as he hugs her. I really can’t place the best way for him to enter her narrative and leave so quickly. Also, I was wondering if there needed to be another line from the suicidal character before the blackout and the ‘suspended in the void’ lines. This may help to indicate what’s happened, something that would imply that he is committing suicide more strongly than the ‘falling’ later. My hope is that the confusion should be lifted by the ‘falling’ lines and that what’s happened should become clear here, not for the confusion to take over and blind the reader from using what is given to piece together what is happening. It’s a fine line and I really want to get it right. I want people to understand it but I don’t want it to be simplistic, I want to there to be some element of a reveal in the ‘falling’.
Talented chef, television personality and journalist Nigel Slater recently wrote about the Mcdonalds Big Mac in his Observer column. His article depicted his love of the fatty burger that Mcdonalds sell across the world to a huge audience. Whilst describing the instant gratification one can gain through cheap and easy fast food, Slater manages to pull off a wonderful impersonation of Nigella Lawson whilst also using a host of unnecessary adjectives.
The sexualization of food has increased in popularity in the media throughout the 21st century. Television personalities like Nigella Lawson emerged who managed to combine food and soft seductive tones impressively on the BBC. Since this and other examples, an inexplicable link between food and sex has risen out of obscurity and into the limelight. With the same happening in fiction writing – 50 Shades of Grey, popular film – Blue is the Warmest Colour and television – Game of Thrones, we are now bombarded with sexualised imagery throughout daily life. Slater follows this trend in his writing, managing to turn describing a Big Mac into softcore porn. ‘The excited dribble of sauce between patty and bun’ and the ‘peeking gherkin’. Please Nigel, you’re putting me off my food.
Specifically in the second paragraph of the article, the lines between novel and newspaper are continually blurred with Slater’s unconventional style of journalistic writing. He repeatedly adds extra descriptive sentences and adjectives like ‘…the windows fugged up and dripping with condensation’. He also manages to overuse one of these motifs in using ‘torrential rain’ twice in one sentence which is sloppy and disrupts the flow of his story. If he was aiming for a more novelistic tone then he must at least use differing descriptions of his surroundings to paint a moving scene in the readers mind.
Also, through his article, Slater seems to be crying out that he is normal like the rest of us – ‘Look, I eat Mcdonalds too!’ – but manages to contradict that entirely with his snobbish tone. Like the rest of us, Nigel attends an outlet of Mcdonalds to pick up his Big Mac for that frisson of illicitness we all love. Apparently, Nigel has also taken up an exciting new hobby working as a pop music lyricist, ‘Lost, away from home’, just the ‘out-of-body feeling’ that we’re all experiencing when Mcdonalds pops into our minds. Whilst doing his best impression of the normal person, he still couldn’t help but separate himself away from a class that he wouldn’t dream of being associated with, ‘We didn’t possess the shiny manmade fibres and luminous trainers to eat in’.
Thing is, when a normal person thinks of a Mcdonalds, it’s not for the frisson of illicitness or for a slightly disturbing sexually infused experience, it’s actually because it’s what they can afford. So Nigel, next time you write an article about food, write it as Nigel Slater not as a poor impression of someone else and please, leave out your sex life.