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Writing Tips: How To Involve Five Senses

Writing Tips: How To Involve Five Senses

how to write about 5 senses in your story

We’re sure if you’ve ever asked for writing tips, you’ve been told that the most important part of writing a story or a poem is to make the reader feel involved with the characters and the plot. A very important and interesting way to do this is by involving your readers’ five senses. This can be done by laying stress upon details related to sight, smell, hearing, touch, and tasting. The use of sensory language connects your writing to your audience on a very deep level and engages the reader into your story. 

Here are some tips on writing with respect to each sense:

  • Sight

    Sight or visual description of the sitting is probably the easiest to write about. It also concisely conveys to your reader as what your character sees or where the character is. You could talk about colour, texture, size, shape and so much more. Once you start with the ‘obvious’ descriptions, go into more depth: how does your character walk, their mannerisms, and any change in their appearance or facial expressions throughout the plot. Your goal is to make the reader think and imagine if they were there living in the setting or seeing the way the characters move or talk.

  • Smell

    You can do wonders if you can make your readers imagine what your characters smell at some point in your story. Or how a place in your story smells like. Smells are usually split into two simple categories: pleasant or unpleasant. And unfortunately, most people think describing the category of smell stops at this point. But if described the write way, it can enable your reader to experience the setting in a much better way.  Think often how the smell would be at important places in the story. And remember, the smell doesn’t just mean your new perfume or the food cooking across the street; smells can describe the weather, conflict, a room, anything.

  • Hearing

    There are a number of techniques for using sound in your writing. There is also no limit to the range of sounds you can write about and make your reader imagine in your writing. Even if your character is sitting in an empty room with no clear source of a sound, you can describe the deafening and eerie or awkward silence. Writing about sound almost always add to the beauty of the setting. E.g. From where I am right now I hear the clicking of phone keyboards, the barks of dogs outside, the deep murmur of the air conditioning, and food cooking in the kitchen. You really want the readers to picture your characters’ environment and what unnoticeable sounds there will be. This will ensure they are submerged in the setting.

  • Touch

    This is usually when writing can be a bit difficult with the number of adjectives you can use to describe the physicality of one’s story. Your character can touch and feel almost everything, even temperature, humidity, and the weather. The important part of writing about this sense is to not just discuss the physical touch your character experiences; but about how it makes your character feel, their emotions, pain and even that sinking feeling in your stomach of guilt! Using the right words to describe touch can make your readers fall in love with your story.

  • Taste

    Usually, with this sense, writers go into various details. And they do it to try and accurately describe what something tastes like to the character, typically through the use of metaphors. Metaphors make it easier for the reader to understand the experience of the character. It also lets them relate to something through their own memories or experiences. When using this, remember the sense of taste is one of the most subjective experiences. So you may want to use words that precisely explain the taste your character is feeling.

Once you’ve written your first extract focusing on a sense, show it to test readers, who can be friends or family members, or even other online platforms where you ask for a review. However, the problem that arises from this is the potential for a biased view that hides the truth from you. Or, for online platforms, they might charge you large sums of money for not much in return. This is where a strong community of writers and readers on WriteSome can help you.

WriteSome is a platform for passionate writers, who want to work together to make each other better through frequent reviews. If you want to improve your writing, or even want to just read something for leisure, you should download the WriteSome app today.

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