Friday, June 24, 2011

A Sensory Detail Exercise

Yesterday, I wrote a post on sensory details and zeroed in on smell. Today, I have an exercise for you to try that deals with the sense of touch.

Look at the list below. Make a sub-list for each of things that have that feeling. Don't just sit at the computer and put the words down. Get up and walk around your office, your kitchen, bedroom, then go outside and do the same.  Reach out and touch different objects to see how they feel.

1. smooth

2. soft

3. rough

5. cold

6. hot

7. abrasive

8. slimy

9. wet

10. stiff

11. limp

You can also do this exercise in reverse. Make a list of household objects, or things in your backyard. Then write a word or phrase that shows the way they feel when touched.

When writing a story, use sense of touch occasionally. Doing it too often can turn a reader off. I had a friend who was a very good writer, but she overused the simile  technique in her first novel to the point that they became a distraction for me as I read what was an excellent story.

Look at one of your favorite pieces you've written. Go through it line by line and mark the sensory details. Lots? Few? Or none?

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