As a writer, (or an amatuer, to begin with) I didn’t even know the term; USE THE SENSE, I simply wrote what I was thinking and imaginating, not worrying so much about the details, and the descriptives parts about it; until nearly a year ago, when you of my friends; read some of my work, and of course I asked for a review. The face he was showing, was telling me; that he wasn’t fairly impressed; the writing was good, BUT – he couldn’t feel the words. Hmm, my stubbornness, (Damn it, may be!) would really let me face that to begin with, but then one day. I tried reading my work with other “glasses” and then it occurred to me; he was right, not that I was happy to admit it, but I couldn’t deny the obvious.
So, I dived in; head first to a whole new world of possiblities, but also new challenges. But, as you might have sensed I am stubborn. Many hours was spend one researching, working, then deleting… Oh God, so much time spend, but honestly it was well spend, because today I have my “Cheat Sheet” with the helpful words, I can turn to when my mind goes blank.
Enough about me….. Let’s get to the Tips;
The 5 Tips;
To begin with I had never thought about sound. Sound, come on;
I’m writing a book, not recording a song or making a movies, but yet again I am. A song of words, a movie of words; and our job is tricky, we don’t have the pictures or the literal sound, but we have our amazing words, and with that you can do anything; our job is to paint that picture or create that sound to the readers: So, again SOUNDS. We all now what the sounds, sound like. I use mine differently. Highlighted, in a kind of hidden way, there are so many possiblities. I have tried to spilt mine into “categories”; like sounds of water and rain, or sounds doors or floors make; I will give you a picture of what I do; to give you an idea…
BANG! – BEEP! – BOOM! – POP! – PING! These are the more explosive words, if you like. I tried to keep these by themself;
Her heart was stopping, creating that dreading straight flat-line on the heart monitor… For me; reading the headlighted and singled out words, bring the sound instantly into my mind, and I’m thinking: Oh no, what’s going on!
Rain impinge or sprinkled on the window… Water was burbling, flowing, chirping.
Outside the rain is tapping on the leaves. – I love useing the nature elements, and obviously on of my favourites are WATER, in the sense of rain, a waterfall, pond, burbling lake.. ECT. Choose your own special element or sense of sound and go with that, remember you are the creator of your world…
2: TOUCH OR FEELS:
For me, I consider this as one of the most important senses, because the whole idea of the story, is to get the reader to feel the story, however I have learned that you need to be careful with the literate words, we need to create the feeling not just TELL it. If you were like me, you think; But how, well it is actually simple to learn, but hard to do! Simply said; avoid the words; FEEL and FELT. I think that the words FEELINGS and SENSATION is alright to use as a narrative, but it is a struggle. I am editing my second novel, and believe you me; there a LOT of FELT words in there, ready to be cut out. But with knowledged comes progress.
Description of Hands; rough, soft, clammy, nimble, bony, calloused, leathery, ample, shaky, dry, delicate, slender or gnarled.
Feels; Flickering. Quivering. Beating. Jumping. Flashing. Pricking. Boring. Drilling. Cutting. Lacerating. Mild. Aching. Constant. Deep. Superfical. Intense. Dull. Tugging. Wrenching. Pins and neddles. Scalding. Tingling. Smarting. Stinging. Hurting. Heavy. Taut. Rasping. Splitting. Tiring. Exhausting. Sickening. Suffocating. Fearful. Frightful… and the list goes on. The best advice with these ones, are simply to play with it, write and delete, work with what comes natural in your story.
Again a tricky one; I try to use the smells to settle the mood in the book; such as the scent of new laundry and fresh air spread from him to my nose, giving me a calming sensation, and everything was good.
Or… The Herbal Scent spread in the air of the kitchen, as we got seated with a steaming cup of tea, diving into deep conversation. I’m using the SCENT or SMELL to bring a feeling or a mood to the scene or person. In my novel the Greek Mythology is involed, and in The Underworld, I used all the SMEELS, I thought would be by the River of Styx, for example; acid fumes of sulfur and death spread through my nose, making me nauseous…. You kind of get the idea of how bad it smells, and can relate with the character with what they feel….
Smells; aromatic. Bitter. Burnt. Citrusy. Damp. Dank. Earthy. Fruity. Lemony. Medicinal. Perfumed. Odorless. Again, work with them, play with them. I must confess, that the Smells and Taste sense, is the least used in my novel, I make them appeared once in a while, but it is limited. Use them as you please.
Like the SMEEL, I try to give the person a feeling or a mood with the taste; there’s nothing better then the taste of the freshly picked strawberries in the summer, the juicy sweet, made my mouth water, bringing me back to when I was eight, picking the innocent small berries, sneaking a bit. The nostalgia rushed over me, and I was a child again. I always, always use something like this; from my own life experience, from my fast and rememberance. For this sense, I actually don’t have a “Cheat Sheet” nothing written down, but I still have advice: Remeber what it feels like to taste strawberries, or the first hot chocolate with marshmellows in the winter, can you feel how that instantly brings that scent of Christmas to your nose, and that cozy sensation of what it feels like, sitting with your chocolate under that warm and fuzzy blanket and putting on your cozy-socks. Bring that to your story, and deliver it to your readers.
Well, sight is showing, and isn’t that what we are trying to go through the entire book??
Well, yeah… but I like to make certain places stand out with the SIGHT, painting a picture of something I think to be special.
- The sky turned into a multi-coloured canvas, with a mix of warm orange, blue, purple and pink.
- The sun was setting and the civil twilight was slowly settling over the land, at the horizon clouds were forming and building up like glorious mountains.
- The sun was setting, there was a grey wall of clouds that separated the sunset from everything else, beautiful colors crawling up behind the wall.
That is some examples, but again the best thing you can do is to play with it. Try – be creative, everything you do will later be a lesson, which will be a progress…
I hope it will help you, on your journey.
Remember to type those words, no one will do it for you..
Happy Writings & Love To All….