For Skill Grid #1 and to see what this is all about, check here.
Jamie’s favorite food was french fries.
It was the smell before the sight. Jamie could picture the brown, fried crisps before ever laying an eye on them. Each stick of his mother’s homemade french fries was caked in the right amount of salt and were still crispy when she took them to the dinner table. Jamie’s brothers and sisters knew they only had seconds to act. Otherwise, they would get no fries that night.
Objectively, these two sentences both say the same thing. Our friend Jamie has an affinity for french fries. What does this show in terms of character? Honestly, if I was just detailing a scene as listing out a few character traits in-story (say, a social media profile or a journal entry), then I wouldn’t write something so intricate like the “unpacked” sentence.
But if I wanted to show that my character had a ravenous instinct, or lacks basic human self-control, I believe that’d be the best time to “unpack” this sentence.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you on Friday.