Using the Five Senses to Show Rather Than Tell: TOUCH, TASTE, SMELL

The sense of touch, taste, or smell can add much to a scene you are writing and surround the reader into the action of your story.  Here are three examples of how to take a stagnant sentence, and by adding in a sense or two, make it more compelling.

1. The man was different and his looks scared me.

The man shook my hand and his rough skin reminded me of the sandpaper mom used to refinish my old desk. He smelled like a campfire and the tattoo of a snake on his chin looked alive.

2. I ate my sandwich.

I took the first bite and a cold dribble of mustard slid down my face. The ham was way too salty, but I had to keep eating to please Grandma.

3. The sun was out and the day was going to be nice.

The sun made me squint but the warmth to my cold face was welcome. The air smelled like it had just been made, no nasty rotten egg odor like we usually had this time of day.

The rewrites are not going to win any awards, but they do pull you in more. Who is this man and why does he smell? What’s up with Grandma? Why does it usually smell of rotten eggs?

Use these senses where they can help paint a better picture, tell more about your protagonist, or to provide interest and processing to a small scene.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Editing, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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