Saturday, April 16, 2005

Can You See It, Feel It, Hear It, Taste It and Smell It?

Getting each of the senses into your writing is important if you are going to fully paint the picture for your reader. They need to know if the air holds the scent of jasmine, if the humidity causes sweat to tickle a path down the heroine’s back, if the wind is howling through the trees, if the rose the hero picked for his lady love is as red as crimson or as yellow as a lemon, and if that first swallow of whiskey tastes as sweet as a first kiss or burns like cayenne pepper.

I know it’s needed, but that doesn’t mean it comes easy for me, or for a lot of writers. I try to stop and think of the senses as I write a scene, but I usually have to go back through and deliberately add in the senses, a scent here, a sound there, and so on.

That’s okay though. All that matters is that it’s there. (Smile) Besides, a lot of writing is rewriting. We double-check grammar, reaction, pace, action tags, and even the color of the hero’s eyes. (Yes, that last one is necessary. I’ve read more than one book where a character had blue eyes at the start of the story only to have them turn green some where before the last page.) So double-checking is a good thing. (Smile)

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