A Sensual World

As a favor, I recently reviewed another writer’s early fiction. They wanted suggestions and opinions on what could have been done differently.

One of the issues that stood out was the almost complete lack of sensual details: how things felt, tasted, smelled, sounded, looked like—all useful ways to draw a reader into a story. The writer had a good sense of placement, it was true. How big rooms were, where an object was in relation to the main character, or where rooms were compared to the rest of the house were often included.

Nothing else was, however. Even the one time a character sniffed a brandy, there was no detail as to how it smelled, or how the odor affected the character. It was all bland to a profound degree, particularly since this was supposed to be a romance novel!

In your fiction or creative nonfiction, it is essential to describe the sensual details of the world you are bringing to life. After all, it is only through the senses that we, as readers and writers, experience the real world. What a disservice to leave that out of your own creations!

–Michael Fink


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