The gooey donuts, fresh from the oven, smelled like heaven in a bag and made my mouth water. I quickly downed the first one in the car, then sighed with satisfaction as I licked the warm glaze from my fingers like a sugar-starved dog.
Can you picture the donuts? Taste them? Smell them? Feel the glaze oozing over the still-warm dough onto your fingers?
The six senses pull your reader into your story. The reader doesn’t want to know what the protagonist feels, she wants to feel what the protagonist feels. You could read “He ate a donut,” and it wouldn’t mean much to you, but to taste it, feel it, savor it—that’s you enjoying the donut.
Remember to include taste, smell, touch, sight, hearing and feeling to draw your readers in.
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
E. L. Doctorow
If you write ‘just the facts’ in fiction, you may as well be writing an essay, but if you invoke the senses in the reader, she becomes involved in the story in a real way. Once she is invested, she will continue turning pages.
Do you use the six senses in your writing? Do you see how they could draw the reader into the story on a personal level? What other senses have you used besides the ones I mentioned?