Your Taste Buds
I wouldn’t call myself a picky eater. I’ll try most anything once as long as it sounds appetizing. I’ll even try a few things that sound crazy. For example, my co-worker loves bacon. When we asked if she had a theme for her office birthday celebration, she requested bacon. Imagine how many things are made with bacon. There are bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches, loaded baked potatoes with bacon, bacon bits in a green salad, scrambled eggs and bacon breakfast burritos, baked beans with bacon. I could write a cook book on bacon recipes. Did you can even buy chocolate and bacon candy bars, and beef jerky flavored chocolate bars.
I like peanut butter and chocolate, mint and chocolate, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate and caramel. Well, you get the idea. But chocolate and bacon is a little out there. So is beef jerky flavored chocolate. But when samples of my friend’s birthday gift were offered, it bit. Literally. The chocolate shell was pretty good, but when the bacon crunchies landed on my tongue, I swallowed hard. My lips curled and my nose wrinkled. I got it down, but I never again want that flavor combination in my mouth.
Then I took a bite of the beef jerky flavored chocolate. My taste buds revolted. I grabbed a piece of paper off my desk and spit out the offensive candy. I can’t really describe the flavor. It’s a cross between scorched chocolate and under cooked beef. A whole bag of Hershey’s crème de menthe kisses could not erase that taste from my tongue.
Let’s face it, some flavor combinations work and some don’t. Same goes with our characters. A woman defined as classy dropping the F-bomb every other sentence is too jarring. However, that same character with racist tendencies is believable. An explorer who hates to travel and experience new cultures might not ring true. On the other hand, if the character travels in search of a lost child or the cure for a terrible disease, it works. It’s all in how the writer develops the character. How are the situations set up? Is there sufficient background to grab the reader? Are the characteristics consistent beginning to end? Well-crafted characters with outrageous flaws could make for interesting reading. It’s all in the mixing and blending.