From Imagination To Publication

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sensory Details

I’ve got about a million things to do right now, but I had to respond to this week’s Road Trip Wednesday. For those of you who don’t follow YA Highway:
Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.
This Week's Topic:
The Five Senses. How you use them in your writing, how you are inspired by them, pictorial essays, that character with smelly socks, books that have used them well, the ones that are currently missing from your work, etc.
This was such a great topic for me because I am right in the middle of fine-tuning The Descendants. In the post below, I mentioned a few of the suggestions from ZOVA Books, and one of them was to include more concrete details in places that I tended to have too much internal emotional narrative. Running through a checklist of the senses as you edit is such a great way to ensure those details are included. The added descriptions will most definitely intensify scenes that seem to be lacking something. Most of us probably do this without thinking to some extent. Of course writing what a character sees and hears is natural as your first draft comes pouring out of you, but did you include smell, touch, and taste? What a great question to ask! Some of my favorite moments in The Descendants, I realized, are places where I managed to include sensory details.

Here are some of my favorites from the book:

The sound of a clock in a silent room

The feel of warmth beneath the sheets

The taste of a kiss

Feel free to share some of your favorite sensory details...


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