Writing with All Five Senses

I got out a new tube of Chapstick the other evening–one of my favorite vices. I’d been using the blue tube with SPF15 for a long time, but this was one of the classic black tubes. I cracked open that annoying plastic sleeve and slathered some on my lips.

And just like that I was transported back to childhood. I was in a world of snow and mittens and snowsuits and clunky boots. I remembered my mother cinching my hood in place and applying chapstick to my lips. She made sure my mittens were inside my sleeves and my snowsuit legs were firmly pulled down over my boots. And then she did the best thing any mother has ever done. She set my brothers and I FREE to play in the snow. Who knew Chapstick Classic was so powerful?

And that’s why, when I write, I try to remember to use all the senses. Sight, smell, sound, taste, touch. They bring a scene to life.

COMPARE:
She walked in the kitchen and thought, home.
OR
She walked in the kitchen where she could hear birdsong through the open windows. The smell of her mother’s apple pie scented the air. Her mother wrapped her in a hug and steered her to the table to sit and talk. And she thought to herself, home.

See? You hear the birds, smell the pie, feel the hug, see the kitchen and maybe even taste those apples. Any time I need to make a scene richer and fuller I try to remember to stop and check how many senses I’ve used. Chances are, I’ve neglected several.

Q4U- What sensory experiences trigger good memories for you?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s