Monday, February 14, 2011

Bits O'Wisdom: Five Senses

Let's say you're writing a scene where....Jane has just murdered her husband in front of his lover. She caught them in the act and then waited for just the right moment to step inside the room, unheard at first. Now she turns toward the mistress who is cowering on the bed, nude body shivering in fear as she watches Jane step in her direction.

Sight:  Notice the light sheen of perspiration on the mistress' face. See how the glow of lovemaking is still noticeable on the pale face drowning in wide, dark eyes. You see that rose on the bedside table? The one next to the same label of champagne Jane's husband toasted with at their wedding...yeah, that one.

Taste:  The taste of her lover lingers on her tongue, turning the strawberries and champagne they'd shared into a sour film that she can't get rid of. All Jane tastes is the bile threatening to rise at the sight of her husband's dented skull..

Touch:  Can you feel the rough handle of the butcher knife Jane holds in her hand. She clenches her fist around it, begins pulling the white silk away from the mistress. No longer covered, the mistress shivers against the cool air that takes the place of her lover's caress. Feel the hairs standing on the back of her neck? Death's icy fingers inching their way up her spine?

Sound:  Hear Jane's heart drumming loudly in her ears, the short gasps coming from the bed as the mistress awaits her demise. The running bathwater that would have served as another setting for their lustful acts.

Smell:  Metallic salt invades your nostrils--Jane's husband's blood. The heavy odor of sex hangs in the air, only angering Jane further.

Incorporating the five senses into a scene always has more of an impact. Try it :)


  1. The way you used taste and smell here was perfect. The strawberries and champagne just sends a whole flood of imagery through my brain about what the two of them had been doing prior to the Mrs. arriving. Great tips!



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