writers resources / writers tips / writing

Writer’s Tip #9: Add Sensory Detail

writers resourcesWhen you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. I’ll point them out. They’ll come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.  Please add comments with your favorite editing fixes.

You experience the world with your senses–

  • tactile
  • smell
  • sight
  • taste
  • auditory

Allow your readers to do the same. There are lots of descriptors that will make them swear they are smack dab in the middle of your plot:

  • the rich herbal smell of ***
  • the sticky feel, like sap from a tree
  • the dogs’ baying announced their success.
  • the splash of red amidst the drab browns
  • the light taste of cayenne reminded her of Robert’s cooking

Here are some that provide a slightly different take on our traditional senses (from books I’ve read, so tweak them before using):

  • anger steamed behind him like smoke from a power plant
  • predatory eyes
  • he could see the weight in her walk

Sensory detail always inspires my creativity. Not only is it the spice that makes a novel memorable, it’s also fun to include as the author. I have a lot of posts about descriptors, many of them including the senses. Browse through them and see if any spark your imagination.

Do you have some favorite details to share?

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.



2 thoughts on “Writer’s Tip #9: Add Sensory Detail

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I was reading a book today that was very rich in sensory details. It reminded me to put that type of detail into a book I’m working on.

    Thanks, again.

    Stan Watson


    • It makes a big difference, doesn’t it? Since much of fiction is our emotional involvement, smells and tastes–all the senses–draw us in as much as the spoken words.

      Thanks for dropping by.


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