Thursday, November 29, 2012

Engaging the Senses

Two of my writing mentors - Jonathan Maberry and Kelly Simmons - have reminded me that long-form fiction should include examples of all five senses being engaged.  It's not enough for the characters in a novel to see, to hear, and to touch.  They should (at least once) smell and taste.

In fact, Maberry does a final edit of his novels in which he makes sure there are instances in which characters (or at least the protagonist) smells and tastes something.

At present, I'm turning an old, unsold screenplay I wrote into a YA novel.  (That's Young Adult.)  I'm trying to add smells and tastes as I go along.

It's not as easy as it sounds.


  1. I have another friend who is a screenwriter who is trying to write a novel, and that is the hardest thing for him -- to put in details that aren't visual. Remembering is half the battle!

    1. Well, I'm taping an index card saying "add the senses" atop my laptop screen. So that should remind me! Eating scenes help.