It’s Day 22 of 31 Days of Writing Tips. Catch up on other posts in this series here.

Today’s writing prompt is: SENSE

Each post in this series has been written in five minutes or less in conjunction with 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.




When writing, it is most natural and common to give details that can be seen. We most often — usually without even trying or realizing it — appeal to our readers’ sense of sight. But how might we also incorporate descriptions of sounds, tastes, smells, and textures?

Think about writers who use sensory detail well. Re-read their work for examples and ideas.

When I was working on my memoir, A Place to Land, I turned to Emily Wierenga’s writing for inspiration.

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Here’s one excerpt that also includes personification, which we discussed in a previous post in this series:

“And even as our house slumbers, it’s alive—with peanut butter kisses on the windows and red wine stains on the carpet.

Home is Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader beside the toilet, the smell of a strawberry rhubarb candle a lady from church brought me when I miscarried. I light it every time I have a shower. It smells like mercy.”

Here’s an excerpt that comes to mind from A Place to Land:

Her condo smelled like chocolate chip cookies and scented candles and death.

For the first time, I saw the massive oxygen machine in person, the one I had only heard before over Skype, with its rhythmic bzzzt-pptsshhhh . . . bzzzt-pptsshhh boosting air into Mom’s nostrils and lungs.

A Place to Land



Scan through your own work in progress. Where and how could you incorporate descriptions that appeal to senses other than just sight?


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