“We live on the leash of our senses.” – Diane Ackerman
Have you ever read a book with such great description, that you actually felt as though you were there, living the story? Perhaps you found yourself hanging on every word, tiny detail, and conversation the character was experiencing. It was exhilarating, right?
As with any writing, it is important to connect with readers, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is by making them feel personally involved. Sensory writing offers this unique experience by including vivid details for each scene that is being portrayed. Here are some examples:
Sight – Sight is the capability of the eyes to focus and detect images. In writing, sight can be used to deliver colors, textures and other important details to any scene you’re creating. Example: Upon closer inspection, the seemingly white sand was speckled with hues of pale pink and gray.
Smell – Smell is a chemical sense that detects an odor or scent. It is typical that the sense of smell can evoke specific memories in a person, and can contribute to a sense of atmosphere. Example: The aroma of freshly cut grass filled my nostrils as I rode my bike through the neighborhood.
Sound – Sound is a noise, vocal utterance or musical tone. Whether it’s the way a character speaks or a noise in background, sound gives enough detail to set the scene for the reader. Example: The sounds of babbling water, chirping crickets, and croaking frogs rang through his ears; they definitely weren’t in the city anymore.
Taste – Taste distinguishes the flavor of something. Though often the most neglected sense in writing, taste can be used to arouse a reader’s taste buds. Example: Cinnamon and sugar danced on her tongue with every bite of grandma’s famous apple pie.
Touch – Touch is the physical contact with an item, or person. You can use the sense of touch to describe the feeling of water running through a person’s hands, or the fabric of a person’s dress. Example: My back stung with pain as I slid through the coarse grass and sticky mud. I knew the tackle had rendered me useless for the remainder of the game.
By incorporating these sensory descriptions into your writing, you can make any reader feel as though they have truly been transported into the world you have created, and it is likely that they will continue to come back for more.