While writing a food blog, I feel as though I need to keep in mind the importance of showing, rather than telling with the words in my posts even moreso than my images. I don’t want the images to steal the show but like any sensory experience, descriptive words seem to be few and far between after a few blog posts. Delicious, savory, mouthwatering, delectable – yummy even – they all get old fast. The same goes for words describing the atmosphere of a restaurant and the quality of customer service.
In Chapter 3 of Microstyle, Johnson explains how vivid images have supported some extremely successful ad campaigns such as M&M’s melts in your mouth, not in your hand (even though M&M’s have absolutely melted in my hand! Ugh, false advertising) and Coca-Cola using thirst as a vehicle for sales – “Thirst stops here,” “Thirst reminds you, drink Coca-Cola.” Johnson describes the useful effect of succinct images across scores of ad campaigns. This chapter grounded me back to my poetry background and reminded me to do my best utilize the English words I have to work with most effectively. How exactly did this chapter do that? By reminding me to combine them in a way that is most effective.
This blog post from Carpe Durham, a Durham food blog shows a few great examples of combining words to bring an image, idea, or sensory experience to life.
“presented with a platter of ceramic drinking vessels”
“The eggplant was at that stage where the flesh melts in your mouth”
“handmade ceramics and exquisite presentations are fantastic, but it is still a restaurant that’s heavy on your wallet”
Were a few examples that spoke to me in this post. I still think Carpe Durham could use more of this type of imagistic writing to convey more about the food it explores but when they do, they nail it.
In my own blog posts, I try to make use of these types of images as often as possible. Check out these examples from my post about Foster’s Market – http://goaliespoon.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/fosters-market-durham-nc/
“Tickle your taste buds and your aesthetic inclinations with a simple side salad.”
“whether you like something smooth and simple or if you’re a hopisaurus.”
“Relax and take in the warm and cozy country store ambience.”
“If you have room for dessert, take advantage of the succulent selection at Foster’s.”
“Just enough savory caesar, bacon, and chicken to juxtapose against the sweet and succulent fruit.”
I still think I could tighten up my images, but I’ve been trying to harness the power of the succinct image as discussed in Chapter 3 of Microstyle.