How Many Cups of Coffee Can Characters Have?
Contributor

When  characters are born, their lives are slowly filled with millions of details, millions of pieces, forming their attitudes, their "loves" and their "hates," their struggles, problems, insecurities, joys, or sorrows. Beneath their inner development and their inner actions, there also is an outside life, and I think that's one of the most interesting parts of writing. Creating characters to give them their routine, the everyday things they like to do, their way of living--from walking a dog, to driving a car in traffic, putting on makeup, hurrying to the office, or simply having a cup of coffee.

I still have to count how many times my heroine, Tasha, in Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock is having coffee, alone, or with her friends, or with her  new colleagues, as she moves to France as a journalist. Probably, many. For some readers, that might even be too much. But, on the other hand, both of the main female protagonists in the book are living the lifestyle, where  drinking coffee, or having lunch and a dinner in a fancy place seems natural. Tasha is a freelance journalist, and Liz is a deputy editor of the fashion magazine. That's how they live, that's where the "turning points", and culminations in their careers and personal lives happen. As Tasha leaves her country and moves to France, on a flight to Paris she meets a famous French pastry Chef, Fabien Blanchard, so the element of  having a meal, cooking and more broadly cuisine, becomes even more stronger,  and just as in real life, dinning out with friends, getting out for drinks, or meeting with your future boss in a restaurant  for an interview, or having  Belgian waffles and a carrot  cake  on a lunch in an old home garden becomes an integral part of the story, of the narrative, of the characters day to day experiences and their  living  culture, their life, their existence. 

"Croissants with a cup of hot coffee were first in her system of gourmet values, especially now, when she felt so miserable," that's when Tasha discovers that her dream of going to Paris might not come true and she decides to treat herslef with something she loves.  That sentence is from one of the first chapters of the book, and I think, when I wrote it, I  instinctively new, that those "croissants and coffee" scenes would re-occur, that it won't be true to the story, if a character who relocates to France would not have them on a regular basis:).  From that point on, the element of food, the scenes were characters are meeting up for a meal became almost basic.  Is it a stereotype? Maybe.. But, for me, Friday Evening, Eight O'Clock would be a totally diffferent book without all those coffee drinking, cafes and restaurants, where the characters are  found dealing with their ups and downs, struggling with the choices they're making,  whether they are establishing  new friendships, finding new love, new job or just drinking  a glass of a red wine, unaware of the many adventures ahead.

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