Writing Tips

Using Your Senses

So, when I wrote one of my first books, I was told that a reviewer actually had to put it down because it was so detailed that they felt like they were right in the scene and it scared them.

I was shocked. I had managed to make a reader feel so involved that they had to put a book down? I took it as one of the biggest compliments of my life! But it really got me to thinking about what I did to make this happen. After a while of thinking about it, and rereading the part where the revieweer had told me they had to put the book down, I figured it out- and since then I’ve aways tried really hard to make sure I keep up with this trick.

I used the six senses.

So, that would be taste, touch, sound, smell, sight, and feeling.

The scene that really seemed to freak the reviewer out was a summoning scene in Summoning the Demon. A short paranormal work that was a personal love of mine more than anything special.

Anyways, as I wrote the book I really focused on what was going on. My main character, a witch, was in a spot of trouble with some zombies trying to eat her, so she called for backup from a demon. The smell of the barn where she was hiding, the sound of the zombies trying to break in, the herbs she was burning. I added it all in there. I talked about the feel of the old wood. I talked about how she could hardly see and the sloppy symbols she drew in the dark. I talked about the feeling in her gut when she heard the zombies about to get into the barn and she feared she was going to be shit outta luck.

And apperently it worked. It drew the reader in, and it made them feel like they were there. And it made them put the book down they were so freaked out by it.

So, today this is a little bit more of a story than an actualy “how-to” which I normally try to stick more to ficing lots of advice as opposed to sharing my “success stories” but I thought this would be better done by sharing a story (maybe helping you use your senses?) and I hope with that you’ll be inspired to make use of the five or six senses in your own writing more often.

I hope that you’ll be able to use them to draw your reader in and make goose bumps cover their skin like I did to my reader- and I hope you hear about it, because it is one of the biggest compliment I feel a reader can get.


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