The Five Senses

Interested in introducing a new level to your writing? Then the five senses are for you. Using all five senses when you write gives your writing more depth and brings reality to your scenes. Using the senses in your writing is easy to do. The two exercises below will help you get the feel for using the senses in your writing.

Just to refresh your memory the five senses are:

Smell Taste Touch Sound Sight

The first exercise is to write a short story using all five senses using one of the following prompts:

  • First day on the job in a curry factory.
  • Night out at the bowling alley.
  • You’re on a ghost hunt in the abandoned prison. You and the research team have been locked in. There is no way out until 7am when the main door will be unlocked.
  • Building a snowman in the front yard with your family.
  • It’s the middle of summer and you’re on a car trip with your old college roommates.
  • If none of these tickle your fancy rummage around your idea file.

The second exercise is editing an existing piece. (or you can use the story from exercise one) Select the first page of a story you’re working on and print it out. Grab five highlighters. Designate a color for each of the senses. Now read through the first page. Highlight each sense with the designated color. You may have to do this several times. Questions to ask yourself when you’re done. Do I have a good balance of the senses or am I heavy on one particular sense. Or are the senses nonexistent in my writing?

Now go back through the page and see where you can add or subtract senses. Don’t go crazy and give your reader sensory overload.

Working through these exercises will give your writing more depth and connect the reader to your story.

For more writing exercises check out the book, Big Book of Exercises, Prompts and Block Buster’s available on Amazon.


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