Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Five Senses

I had the good fortune to work with a fabulous editor during the prep period for my short homoerotic story, Half of Me (written under my pen name).  I'd never had that experience before and I gained so much insight from her years in the field.  You just can't buy that kind of learning; so I made sure she knew how deeply appreciative I was for her time investment in me.

One of the things she talked about was enriching a scene with the five senses.  We all know them:  sight, sound, taste, touch, smell.  I had only really thought about sight... what is my MC seeing?  Not really giving the other senses much page time.

Sound and smell are particularly easy to liven up drab blocks of text.  Are there birds chirping?  A garbage truck rumbling by?  The irritating creak of a shoddy ceiling fan?  Is the neighbor baking apple pies?  What about the nasty stench of the garbage truck that just went by?  The signature scent of an embraced lover?

Taste and touch aren't used as much unless the MC is constantly stuffing his/her face and/or has a tactile fetish, but they can definitely add that extra layer to the story.

How do you use the five senses to make your story come alive?

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