How do you use sensory details?

That may be the first question you are considering. After all, sensory details can be hard to fashion in different styles of writing. There are ways to create sensory words and details that will make your writing stronger, more electrifying, and more relevant to your readers.

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First and foremost, let's define verve. It is that passion, enthusiasm, vigor, spirit, and vivaciousness that you incorporate into your writing. Writing with verve becomes easier as you write from your memories, your experiences, and your senses. By using ideas with which you are familiar, you will unleash that passion and energy that will make your writing more credible and relatable.

There are many ways to look more closely at your writing through the use of details. Take the time to reinforce the concept of seeing and writing within your own writing style. View the world around you through various lenses. See it through your own eyes, or through the eyes of your mother, your grandparents, your sister, your brother, the homeless man whom you passed on the street the other day, the cashier at the corner drug store, or someone else. By seeing life through different perspectives, you will gain a better, stronger, more versatile understanding of how the five senses can become prevalent in your writing. You will be able to write that much more about what you see, how you see it, what it looked like, how it felt, what it smelled like, how it sounded, or maybe even how it tasted (keep in mind that it doesn't have to be edible for you to write about how it tasted).

Use your inquiring, analytical eye to take heed of your five senses. Use sensory words in your writing that describe what you see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Let these images and sensory details shape your writing into an even better piece of work than you have already created.

One way to incorporate sensory details is to make lists of everything you notice around you. Take everything in, no matter how big, how small, or how obvious it may be. Here is a list of some of the items in one of the bedrooms in my house:

Faded pair of jeans
Framed photographs
Red, white, and blue giftbag
Thumbtacks in corkboard
Flower origami
Multicolored journal
Cell phone charger
Laundry basket
Cherry chapstick
Mirror

This list of some of my belongings can be expressed through sensory details, even though as I see them at the moment, they are just "things" gathering dust in this room. Why not take a closer look at them and find the sensory words and sensory details that will make this seeing and writing activity more thrilling?

The fact is that by employing my senses, I engage with the abstract, and turn it into my own individualized reality. This reality is what I try to impress upon myself and build off of in order to create my own version of various sensations to incorporate into my writing. This list, despite not looking like more than a list, already incorporates the five senses, and lends itself well to sensory details.

For example, the framed photographs might be briefly described to allow readers to engage with the sense of sight. The red, white, and blue giftbag may be called a "Star Spangled giftbag" to allow readers to hear, within their own minds, the national anthem, or see, within their own minds, the American flag. The flower origami may be visualized, and readers may imagine themselves smelling that flower they are seeing in their mind's eye. The proper depiction of the cherry chapstick will stimulate readers to taste it on their very lips. Pushing thumbtacks into the corkboard may grant readers the power to feel, or touch, the back of each tack. The rest of this list can be used with one or more of the five senses as well.

Thinking outside the box and finding ways to stimulate the senses through your mind's eye are vital components of good sensory detail writing. Employ your own senses and see where your writing takes you. Try out this writing activity and make your own list to see how the everyday items that you take for granted can be chock full of sensory details. You just have to look a little closer, and everything will come into view and be a bit sharper in your mind's eye.


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