Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm sensing that reeks

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This Week's Topic:
The Five Senses. How you use them in your writing, how you are inspired by them, pictorial essays, that character with smelly socks, books that have used them well, the ones that are currently missing from your work, etc.

There are more than just sight and sound? Sometimes I wonder if I do remember when I read over a first draft whether touch, smell and taste exist. Using all the senses is something that i try to keep in mind when I'm writing but it doesn't always happen (it's not the only one).
THAT, I guess, it what edits are for. I tend to put a sticky note next to my computer screen as a gentle reminder. I agree this can help add depth to a scene.

For example, the rubbish bin in the alleyway where my hero is confronted needed the smell of rotting food among other yuck odors to bring it alive.

Texture/Feel is something i think i could use better too.

So much to think about. Is there any sense you don't use enough in your writing?


  1. I think I don't use smell enough in my writing! Although occasionally when I do, it makes it so much stronger. And probably taste too :)

  2. I'd say smell and taste are the ones I have to remind myself to use most often. Funny, because I think they're the most fun to describe. :)

  3. You're right! We need to remind ourselves that there really are five senses. :)

  4. Maybe your hero should trip over the rubbish bin and their hand touches something disgusting...

    Ick, but at least you get an extra sense in there ;)

  5. I LIKE the idea of a senses reminder sticky note at my laptop! There are already several post-its for other things, but I need this one.


    Taste is my weakness.

    Great post!

  6. Agreed that the post-it note is a great idea! And rubbish bins definitely need smelly descriptions to bring the setting to life.

  7. My book is historical, so I get to delve into all kinds of sensory stuff with good and bad smells, exotic spices, silks and cottons. Then there's that love scene for touch . . .

  8. I'm really good with scent, but taste and texture always get forgotten in my first draft. I have to do the same thing as you: set a reminder to go back and add in those details. Hey, as long as it's in the final manuscript, who cares when it got there. ;)

  9. To be honest, I probably don't do texture enough. Temperature and pain I can do, but I don't really pay much attention to texture. I guess I should probably pay more attention to that, since half the things my characters wear don't actually exist today.

  10. Thanks for the comments everyone. looks like I'm not alone in being a bit forgetful sometimes. As long as it's in there in the end!!

    Love the idea of my MC falling on something yuck... in a gross kinda way.

  11. It's hard to remember to include them, particularly in a first draft! Post-it notes are an excellent idea.


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