Gimme Five!

Does your story seem flat and lackluster? Give it a little sparkle and engage your reader by engaging their senses! We are all born with five senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling – and yet we are often so frequently caught up in our day-to-day lives or in achieving a word count goal that we tend to overlook those vital elements, both in our writing and in our living. Have you ever been reading a story about a beautiful, placid forest and perhaps smelled a hint of the sweet brook tumbling through? That is the power of the mind. Writing is about expressing ideas in such a way that the reader feels and sees what you feel and see. Everything we do involves our senses, whether we realize it or not.
Been staring at that monitor too long? How do your eyes feel?
Maybe it’s time for a break, so let’s take a walk over to the window. If you’re in my office, you  can’t help but see my beautiful pink roses blooming in a garden that looks wonderfully lush and colorful this time of year. 
If the window is open, you might very well catch a whiff of their strong, old-fashioned-rose scent.
You’ll also hear the family of goldfinches that has moved into the neighborhood, singing so sweetly you can’t help but smile.
And while you’re here visiting, I’ll share a piece of the rich, dark chocolate my daughter brought me (Just for the purposes of this exercise, mind, and just this one time!).
Depth is added to your story when you give readers a clear image of the surroundings. Including the senses makes the reader feel as if he or she is actually involved with the tale. Your words will come alive, and the reader will be captivated – and that is our goal, after all, isn’t it?
When you think back on something you’ve recently read, or on a favorite book, what scenes particularly come to mind? What senses did they invoke, and how did they make you feel? Please feel free to share! I’d love to hear from you.

2 thoughts on “Gimme Five!

  1. Hi Robin–youre so right, employing the 5 senses is a terrific way to immerse readers in your story.I think the senses of smell and taste are especially powerful, and not as often used.

    Do you find that you look at the world differently, because as a writer you think more about how things smell, taste, feel, and sound? I think I stop to pay attention more, so I can have those details to weave into my writing.

  2. @Cheryl Reif The five senses are powerful allies, and woefully underused by many of us. Sometimes I find that I am in too big of a hurry to include them — in my first draft. But then I read through and try to fix the dullness.

    I am not sure I look at the world differently! How do other people see it? Am I *abnormal*??? Hehehe…

    Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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