For example, Christopher was bringing cheese. Siobhan was bringing soda. And Annie was bringing apples.
I said I would bring carrots. Christopher told me I couldn’t come to the picnic.
I said I would bring hot dogs. I still couldn’t come.
I tried potatoes. Nope.
What I didn’t know is that the person who starts the game decides what the code will be for the other players to figure out. In this case, the item had to start with the same first letter as your name.
When I was told I could instead bring MASHED potatoes if I wanted to come, I finally figured it out.
The game reminded me of the “You Are What You Eat” technique I use in my book How to Write a Screenplay in 10 Weeks.
Like real people, your characters are what they eat. When we eat food, we remember other experiences of eating it. In real life, the process is called remembering. In writing, it’s called “making it up.” One of the basic principles that I teach is that it is much easier to remember things than to make them up.
As an exercise, decide which food your character would bring to a picnic. Would they “take the cannoli” like Clemenza and Rocco in The Godfather or enjoy some fava beans and a nice chianti like Hannibal Lechter in The Silence of The Lambs?
Taking the time to figure out what food your character likes and why can offer layers to them and your story that you might have missed.
Good luck and happy writing.