The smell of a really bad fart at a sleepover. The sound of giggles after someone has been dutch ovened at that same sleepover. The touch of a Dorito on your tongue. The sight of Godzilla’s leg outside your window.
The five senses are so important in your story. Those details yank readers into the narrative. They associate it with their own really bad farts, giggles, processed cheese tastes and um–Godzilla moments–and have an emotional reaction and recognition.
That’s what you, the writer, want. You want your story to feel real. Incorporating the senses lets you do that.
Spoiler alert: A story doesn’t feel real if it isn’t fleshed out with sensory details.
Here are the five senses in case you forgot:
- Sight (eyes)
- Nose (smell)
- Taste (tongue)
- Touch (skin, hair)
- Hearing (ears)
Here are examples of sensory language:
- His fart brought tears to her eyes. “Refried beans again, really?” (sense of smell)
- He stuck the entire lemon half into his mouth, puckered and sucked. “This helps with the smell,” he said. (sense of taste)
- His fart boomed beneath the covers and ended in a slow hiss. (sense of sound)
- The silk of the sheets against her nose was not enough to keep the smell at bay. Damn it. (sense of touch)
- The scaly leg took up the entire window. All she could see where reptilian scales, half oval, greenish, like big pieces of armor. (sense of sight)
Writing Tip of The Pod
A story without the senses is a story that’s dull, not real, and all in your head. You want to make it sexy. Sexy is the senses.
Dog Tip for Life
Live with all your senses. Explore the world through them. It’s all good. Smell the smells. Taste the smells. See the smells. Feel the smells. Hear the smells.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License.
Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.
AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW! It’s taking a bit of a hiatus, but there are a ton of tips over there.
We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.
Carrie is reading one of her raw poems every other week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!
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And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.
And Carrie has new books out! Yay!
It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.