How to Write from All Five Senses

I have a new article up at Indie Author News:

There’s a lot of good advice I didn’t take because I didn’t understand it at the time. Granted, taking advice before I’m ready for it isn’t smart–like taking the training wheels off my bike before I have a sense of balance. But now I have those training wheels off (although I haven’t stopped training), and I need to re-look at a lot of that advice.

Right now, I’m studying the use of all five senses in my writing. When I first heard the advice, I blew it off. “That’s so obvious, duh!” I said…but didn’t do it. Maybe because it never clicked. Maybe because it was explained poorly. Maybe because I wasn’t listening.

So why is it important?

Not because it makes my fiction “more realistic.” After all, it’s stuff we’ve made up; why is being “more realistic” important (especially in a fantasy or in a surreal work)?
It’s important because it’s easier to control your readers’ thoughts and feelings when you use sensory details. Or, if you want to sound less like a mad scientist and more like a literature professor, “to help your readers see the world in a new way.”

Granted, this comes out the morning after I just finished reading a Stephen King book, so I’m a bit depressed on my writing skills.  But the advice is really, really good.  And many thanks to Dean for giving it to me 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. Still working on the senses thing. I’ve been reading the James Lee Burke book set in New Orleans, ‘In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead’ that Dean read to us. His writing and descriptions just make my mind reel. Someday I’ll be able to do that.

    • RedQueen

      I’m at the point of despair today, but tomorrow, I’ll probably agree with you. Today I’m all, “CRAP CRAP CRAP.”

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