How to Immerse Your Reader in Your Story: Engage the Five Senses

Keri M. Peardon

To continue my series on describing your foreign setting and setting mood using light, today I’m going to talk about the other senses.

The Five Senses

Let’s review our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Sight is usually the predominant sense covered in stories; most people describe what their characters are seeing. But the other senses sometimes get short-changed.

I’ve read that every intimate moment needs at least two senses involved. So, while your protagonist may be gazing with longing into her beloved’s eyes, that’s not enough; you need to add at least one more sense.

Here are some examples from Acceptance:

Scent

Anselm strolled along the quiet, darkened streets, enjoying the warm breeze off the ocean. He inhaled deeply; the scent of blooming flowers was so strong it was almost suffocating, and yet it was pleasurable at the same time.

He leaned closer to a pine…

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