Utilizing the 5 Senses to Improve Your Writing


That is the one sense that gives many of the element for our tales. Our phrases change into our readers’ eyes, giving us a clean canvas upon which to color an image to inform our story. From the sight of a typical worry, corresponding to a spider creeping silently alongside the ground to the glimpse of a shadow on the stairway… sight is our biggest supply of horror inspiration and outline. When describing the sight of one thing terrifying there’s an enormous useful resource on the author’s disposal, as a result of we are able to use our different senses so as to add superb, gory element to our descriptions. This is an instance of how all 5 of our senses can be utilized to explain a easy scene:

The apple was brilliant inexperienced, its pores and skin polished and shining because it nestled within the fruit bowl (sight). The scent was recent, as if the fruit had simply been plucked from the tree (odor). She took it from the bowl, her fingers closing across the agency easy pores and skin (contact) as she lifted it to her lips. The apple crunched loudly (sound) as her enamel reduce via the pores and skin into the tart, juicy flesh (style). Because the recent juice ran down her throat she observed a small black speck shifting slowly within the creamy flesh. Nearer inspection revealed that she hadn’t simply taken a chunk from the apple – she’d bitten via a fats, juicy worm.


Keep in mind while you have been a small baby, and your mother and father put you to mattress? Maybe there was no nightlight, and the TV room was on the different finish of the home…

You are mendacity in your mattress. On their lonesome. Desperately ready to your eyes to accustom to the darkish you hear it – a smooth, scratching noise – and it appears to be coming from beneath the mattress. It lasts solely a second earlier than it stops. You surprise in the event you have been listening to issues, and also you’re so determined for the darkness to lighten you overlook to blink. The blackness appears to swirl round you, cloaking you in a thick, black fog via which no mild can penetrate. Abruptly it is there once more, solely this time the scratching appears nearer. And louder. It appears to final a bit longer this time. So that you maintain your breath, as a result of that darkness does not appear to be lifting. You have misplaced the sense of sight, so by not respiratory you hope to listen to the sound extra clearly, and establish its location…

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The outline above depends on the entire absence of the sense of sight. That is the place worry is available in and might play a significant descriptive position – on this case blind worry. To compensate for lack of sight the sense of listening to turns into extra acute, so the author can introduce different horror-inducing ideas and impressions. The place is the sound coming from? How shut is it? Will I be capable of really feel it if it decides to climb on the mattress? When will my eyes get used to the darkness? Ought to I begin panicking now? If I get off the bed will it soar on high of me?


This sense conjures up description of issues most us will most likely attempt to by no means contact, like slime, frogs and warty pores and skin. All these things are excellent for the horror/scary style, however writers also can take the extra abnormal contact phobias and use these objects to horrific impact. Some folks can not bear to the touch velvet, whereas others are scared of touching paper. Nonetheless others discover their pores and skin crawls once they encounter cotton wool…

Opening the wood field within the lodge toilet, she recoiled in horror. Nestling quietly within the backside of the field, white and shining, was a cluster of cotton wall balls. She stepped again, collapsing on the aspect of the bathtub. The mere considered feeling these smooth fibres squeaking because the ball pressed in opposition to her pores and skin was sufficient to induce goosebumps. She wrapped her arms round herself in a unconscious effort to guard her physique from the worry she’d had her complete life. Simply serious about cotton balls made her pores and skin crawl. She moaned quietly, remembering the silent noise they emitted when squeezed; a noise that appeared to go proper via her pores and skin. By way of her panic she puzzled if she’d bear in mind to pack her facial sponges…

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Descriptions of this specific sense can been embellished with using bodily reactions to feeling sure objects; goosebumps, stepping away from the supply of horror, collapsing with worry, unconscious act of defence (hugging the physique) and a noise of worry (moaning). All these reactions add to the reader’s creativeness, whereas including to the image your phrases are “portray”.


Unhealthy smells within the horror/scary style normally imply one thing unhealthy is about to occur or has already occurred. The odor of rotting or burning flesh might be the most typical description relevant to this style, and the outline of the odor can be used to point how the loss of life occurred. Unhealthy family smells vary from two week previous pizza languishing within the fridge to potatoes burning in a pot on the range. Adjectives embrace: smelly, reeking, fetid, malodorous, rank, putrid and noxious.

As she utilized the ending touches to the consumer’s hair, a pointy odor instantly assaulted her nostrils. It was a odor she hated and dreaded, as a result of it was an odour so horrible the reminiscence remained burned into the unconscious endlessly. She froze because the acrid stench stuffed the air, assaulting her nostrils and her throat with its foul flavour. An prompt later her salon stuffed with gasps and shrieks of horror. She turned in the direction of the three girls seated beneath the dryers. Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Edgar had managed to wriggle out from beneath their dryers, however poor Mrs Smith was unable to maneuver. One of many pins from her rollers had clearly caught within the dryer, and ignited her hair. Smoke was seeping out of the highest of the machine, which had began to spark. Putting her hand over her mouth and nostril in a try to banish the malodorous scent she began to maneuver in the direction of Mrs Smith, who screamed as flames started flickering out of the dryer…”

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Most, if not all of us, have an aversion to a sure meals. We do not prefer to eat it and the style of it makes us really feel sick. Maybe the mere considered tasting it is sufficient to induce some horrible ideas and emotions.

The candlelight caught the designs on the wineglass, casting a darkish crimson glow on the desk. He lifted the glass to his lips, the wealthy musky flavour of the cabernet sauvignon nonetheless drifting over his style buds. On the first sip of the wine he virtually choked. There was clearly one thing incorrect with this new bottle of wine, for the liquid in his mouth had a bitter, bitter style. Though the consistency was the identical because the earlier glass, there was an acidic flavour he couldn’t establish… though it appeared vaguely acquainted. He swirled the liquid round in his mouth earlier than swallowing it. It appeared to sting his tongue and burn the roof of his mouth, and when he swallowed the acrid liquid his throat tingled. Suppressing the urge to cough he reached for the glass of water subsequent to his plate and took a sip. Because the cool water cleansed the tart style from his palate his hostess lifted the bottle he’d used to fill his wineglass… and poured balsamic vinegar over her plate of salad.

Writers have a magnitude of adjectives at their disposal when describing the horror of tasting unappetising meals. These embrace: pungent, bitter, acrid, bitter, fetid, stinking, putrid, decaying, rancid, reek, stale and unhealthy.

Actual life will be much more fascinating than fiction, and utilizing our senses in our writing proves this fact. So the following time you sit down in entrance of your keyboard faucet in to these 5 senses, and see simply how they’ll color your phrases!

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