Monday, August 16, 2010

Modern . . . Coffee

Hey, I'm blogging about what's on my mind today. ;-) I'm sitting here thinking, "Okay, I need to detatch the munchkin and go get coffee. Coffee. Coooofffffffeeeeeeeee." But I can make this about my contemporaries. Really I can.

I grew up aware that most people drink coffee, but in a split household. My mom always had her two cups each morning (though she often has tea instead these days), but my dad does NOT drink coffee. Or hot tea. Or hot chocolate, mostly. He doesn't drink anything hot. As my sister and I grew up, we pretty much liked it all. For a while, we drank more tea than coffee. Then more coffee than tea. I have a few friends who don't like coffee, some who drink it like water . . . you get the point.

More often than not, when reading a book, people just drink coffee, or just don't. It's never a big deal, and that's totally cool. But when I craft my characters, whether or not they're coffee drinkers can sometimes be a huge part of their personality.

Take Davina for instance. Davina detests coffee and is so die-hard a tea fan that she has a whole ritual around tea drinking. Her best friend and the hero are both coffee drinkers, and he at one point jokes that Davina couldn't make a decent pot of coffee to save her life, though maybe if she drank it once in a while . . . to which she replies, "Why would I do that to my poor tongue?"

Then there's Louisa. Louisa has never developed a taste for coffee, but she works at her mother's inn and makes a perfect pot. She knows the science of it, the art of it, and would probably be glad to give you a few fun FYI about bean selection, how to ground it, where to store it, and the correct ratio of grounds to water. Now, she wouldn't volunteer this info--but if you asked, she could tell you. The hero, an avid coffee drinker, when informed that she made the perfect coffee in his hands replies with, "Oh, you finally got a taste for it, did you?" Which betrays that he remembers his preferences of nine years ago, though he keeps trying to say those memories are long forgotten.

My point . . . do I have to have one of those? LOL. I think my point is simply that even things as small as whether or not a character drinks coffee, tea, or nothing at all can really play into who they are. Each small decision about them shapes who they are. And once you know them, you can have a ton of fun using those little things to make points.


  1. Good thoughts to consider. I am one of those don't need coffee kind of gals. :O)

  2. What a fun post. Never thought about that before... huh. I'm going to have to think about that with my characters.

  3. My characters always have strong drink preferences that get stated in the book somewhere. I guess because my tastes are so strong, I insist on theirs being so as well.

  4. Hi Roseanna,
    I'm not a writer, just a voracious reader, but I think you are right about the little things. That's what makes me as a reader connect with the characters and feel like I know them, or could sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea with them. Knowing the little things about someone makes them more personal to me, even fictional ones :) Enjoying reading your blog.