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Writing Tip: Use Your Senses

Writing tip…

It recently occurred to me when I write, that I’m constantly in touch with my senses.

When describing somewhere or something, it is, I’ve found imperitive to consider the impact of the five traditional senses: touch, taste, sound, smell and vision.

What did the air feel like? What did it smell of? Did it remind you/ the character of anything? What could you see? What about the weather? How did the rain feel when it touched your characters skin and is it important?

You have to, at times, not just imagine the scene you are writing, but feel it too.

You need to draw in the reader to make everything feel as though they are there – you have to see that their senses are mere intangible tendrils spilling out of their souls. Your job as writer, is to grasp hold of them somehow and guide the reader using them.

Every sensual pow, must be delivered with purpose, but also aplomb.

Don’t just get lost in the semantics because you think telling the reader that ‘the night was black’ and you need another word for ‘black’. Don’t just go for colour, go for simile or metaphor. Discombobulate the readers senses, deceive them into believing they are there, in the story, experiencing it first- hand. Trigger a physical or emotional memory from the reader.

Visualise it yourself in your head, but don’t just think about what you can see, go for a description that relies on feeling too.

When I jot ideas down for scenes, I usually scribble down something relating to the senses too, to really get me going. It invigorates and challenges me as a writer.

Sometimes, when writers block hits and I’m fresh out of ideas, I’ll bring it back to basics and ask myself about the sensory input the scene requires and that can really help me get going.

Get a post-it and stick it up by where you usually write (or in your writers note book), just to remind you that there are other things to be thinking of when getting stuck in.

Cat x

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