Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sensory Details--Pick One

Our five senses allow us to experience life to the fullest every day. Think about what it would be like to never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Each of the five senses enriches all that we do. One I'd like to explore here is the sense of smell.

Annette Gendler's blog featured an exercise yesterday dealing with the smells of summer. She started a list and her readers added to it. It's a good exercise, but it shouldn't stop there. Use the list to add more to a story or memoir piece you're working on.

Look at these examples using the sense of smell:

Deidre strolled along the boardwalk. The reader has a visual image of the woman, but if we add one more sensory detail, the place is further defined. Deidre strolled along the boardwalk, inhaling the saltwater scent of the sea.

No matter how many years elapse, when I step into Mom's kitchen, I'm reminded of the days when my nose led me there--the aroma of cinnamon, yeast and hot coffee can't be forgotten. The reader can  relate to this far better than if the writer only told us she'd gone back to her mother's kitchen.

It rained this afternoon. Wouldn't the reader see more if it read The fresh scent that followed the rain this afternoon gave my spirits a boost. 

We call the five senses used in writing sensory details. The word detail says it all. For more on incorporating the five senses in your writing, use a search engine like google with the keywords sensory details in writing. There's a wealth of information to be found this way. Making use of the five senses will give your writing a spark that may have been missing.

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