Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Write the Senses" Challenge

"Write the Senses" Challenge

I hope you're having a great day.  Early this morning, as I was snuggled up in bed -- knowing it was waaaaaay past my time to get up -- I was reflecting on a conversation I had with my sis (also a romance writer) a few weeks ago.  

Sometimes I get so bogged down in producing books -- you know, trying to get that next one out, that I neglect the "art" of writing...  

My New Year's Resolution was in part, "slow and steady," so I've given myself a challenge so I can exercise "slow and steady" in my creative work.  If you find the below helpful, maybe you will take the challenge with me during your next writing project. 

My challenge is to really focus on "writing the senses"  ...  what do I mean?  Read on ... 

Name the Five Senses 

First, what are the five senses? (yup! had to look them up to be sure):

  • Feel
  • Hear
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • See

How to Write the Senses

Here are some ideas so you get the gist of what I mean when I say writing the senses:

  • Smell:  In a romance novel, if your hero and heroine are having lunch or breakfast, pull them into your scene by using foods they can easily "smell" ... ie, bacon, apple pie, cinnamon roll) ... Can you smell each one easily?

  • Taste ... ah, love this one! Do your readers get a physical reaction when you describe the taste of something? If not, choose food items that will make them have a “physical reaction” (ie, the taste of a lemon being squirted in their mouths ... did you get a physical reaction -- water below your tongue? see what I mean?)

  • Feel/Touch:  Make the readers "feel" an aching heart (what are those physical symptoms?) or feel pain by comparing it to a raw hang nail, or freshly stomped toe, or the accidental biting of your own tongue. Everybody knows that physical pain ... 

  • Hear:  Take extra steps to ensure readers actually "hear" the birds chirping (what do birds REALLY sound like ... describe a chirp (broken whistles floated through the air), or the rustle of leaves as someone approached (crunchy thud of footsteps -- brainstorming here!). You get my drift, go beyond just “stating” ... pull them in by getting in-tune with the action first, then describing it ... 

My personal goal over the next few romance novels is to take pains to draw my readers into my scenes by "writing the senses" ... over time, my hope is that it will become rote. 

I'm excited about the "Writing the Senses" challenge.  I hope you will join me and take the challenge in your next work, too.

Workshops in the “Affordable” Caribbean?

I have a notebook full of writing exercises I've been keeping a long time now in hopes of one day designing low-cost, informal, creative workshops to be held here in Negril, Jamaica on Seven Mile Beach.  (Jamaica is one of the most affordable Caribbean Islands.)

If this is something you'd be interested in, drop me an email (cassandrablack100{at}gmail dot com letting me know. Just really gauging general interest now. Negril is a good place for writers to come, network, brainstorm, download -- and write!  And it’s darn pretty, too. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Have a great day. 

Cassandra Black, Romance Writer
Becoming a better writer, one word at a time ...

Negril Seven Mile Beach (afternoon)

Negril Seven Mile Beach (sunset)

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