Writing Sensory

When you are writing your story, there is an easy out of telling the reader what the character sees, hears, feels, etc. But telling is a big no. You, the writer, needs to bring the reader in so they can experience what the character is feeling. To do so, you need to write by appealing to those senses.

The senses are:

  • Taste
  • Touch
  • See
  • Hear
  • Smell


Seeing and hearing are some of the easiest writings. But how do you get across the other three without over doing it? Simple – space them out. Not every page or scene needs to have the character tasting food or smelling perfume. If there is a long span of dialogue and plot movement, slow a section down by adding in the character take a sip of water. Note how refreshing it is and how parched they were. Or have the character flipping through a book and suddenly they get a paper cut. Those are both small moments, but as humans, we all can relate to. We can mentally feel the stinging of the paper cut and see the bright red blood as it starts seeping from the wound. Or after a long bout of exercise, our lips are dry and capped. No amount of swallowing saliva will dull that sore ache in the back of the dry sore throat. The cool clean splash of water on the tongue is beyond refreshing.

These are only simple ideas but they add to the character and story by making them relatable and shows the story rather than telling.

For an exercise: Take your favorite book or the book you are currently reading and have a notebook at your side. Each time the author notes one of these senses, jot it down. You can see clearly just how important it is to apply to each of the senses.

L. R. Mauck


Author: lrmauck

Over the last decade, I have received several positive feedbacks on my stories and one college professor encouraging me to pursue a career as a writer. I have attended a few elective writing classes at IUS to help hone in on my skills. I have recently attended Kentucky Writing Workshop in Louisville, KY where I learned more hands-on experience and encouragement from other writers. I currently resides in southern Indiana with my four fur babies. Follow me on twitter at: @lrmauck

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