26 October 2012


Have you ever been reading along only to have your memory sparked by a description that uses one or more of the five senses?  If it's a pleasant memory, it's a bonus that adds to your reading experience.

Describing to your reader what the scene looks like is important, but think how real it can be if you include the other senses of sound, smell, taste and touch.

Give some thought to the setting your character is in.  Perhaps he’s walking along the beach.  What might he see, hear, smell, taste and touch in that setting?

He becomes mesmerised by the sea, its choppy, uneven swell crashing onto shore before it's dragged back.

He walks against the howling wind, its force whipping the sand into his face and he winces.

The salt air leaves a bitter taste in his mouth as he walks along.

The seagulls huddle together on the sand, their attempts at flight marred by the wind.

Wondering closer to the water’s edge, he shivers as his feet become submerged in the swirling froth.

Oh, but I forgot - Smell!

If you’re on a beach in the South Pacific, it could be the fragrance of hibiscus or frangipani.


  1. Beautiful photos to compliment your wise explanation of why it is important to include all the senses when writing a story you want the reader to become totally mesmerized by. An excellent treat for all the senses! I am so looking forward to you next book. I'm sure it's going to be just as superb as the first two!

    1. Thank you, Anna, for your kind words. I think, sometimes, when one reads, a description using these senses can spark off memories. Mine would be the smell of bluebells! I haven't read a book describing them yet, however.

  2. Jill...I can't remember ever smelling bluebells, so not sure what they smell like, nice, I'm sure. However, if I was going to describe what a funeral home smells like, it would have to be carnations. I like the way they smell but they always bring that thought back. I first sensed that as a child and it never left.

    1. I think we can probably all think of some fragrance we smelled as a child and remember well, don't you, Anna? Our sense of smell is so powerful.