Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Touch Taste See Hear Smell

Ahhhhh. The five senses.

I must admit I have my favorites when reading and writing. And I find myself using more of one or two than the others. I don't have that equal opportunity thing going on. I'm working on it.

I love touch. Absolutely MUST HAVE in my books. I have to know what my characters feel like. I need to know the texture of their skin. Their hair. Clothes. Bedding. Carpet. I could go ON and ON.
I need to be able to see my characters. This is tricky for me. I can tell you what each of my characters' domiciles look like. Because they reside in my mind, also. I have this bad habit, according to some, of describing my characters once and letting it go from there. Hope y'all are paying attention. LMAO
The most important part of hearing in my books, in my opinion, is tone. The wind can whistle, howl, and moan. But if there's not a storm abrewing, I don't particularly care. But the character's voices. That is a must. I MUST be able to convey tone in their conversation/dialogue. To me, it is imperative.
Taste and smell. Okay. I'll admit. These are the two I usually let fall to the wayside. I will put in smell if there is a garden, a good meal, or my characters use that as a recognition factor.

The five senses. These are devices an author uses to make the manuscript work. But there is such a problem as TOO MUCH. This is adjective hysteria at its finest.

Adjective hysteria--When adjectives are used to the point of utterly blocking out the story. It's when the reader sees a set of commas and immediately blows past them. NO! NO! No more! I can't take it! Free the nouns!

Which of these senses MUST you have? And which can you forgive the author for not utilizing?



Suzanne said...

Choose? Between the five senses? Ack! I can't! Can I just give up the adjectives? :)

chryscat said...

Okay Suzanne. *laughing*
How's about giving up the sacrificial adjectives? :)~~
They will move onto a better place.

Amy said...

I have to have sight, definitely. And probably hearing is the one I use second most often. As for what I want in a story, I'm not picky. I like a mix of the five senses, but I want it so that I don't NOTICE it. :) I don't ask for much, I know.

username said...

A descriptive once is acceptable. Say it, make the point, and move on.

The same one utilized a second time, if well done and correctly, can reiterate. Iow, there may be a reason something is pointed out again because it could be very important later on, but a hundred pages back, it's simply a 'harmless' mention. (To do this is quite fun because then you wind up with readers sending you mail or calling you and saying they saw something and dismissed it as minor and then BAM, it wasn't so minor later on. People seem to LOVE this for some reason. *g*)

A third mention of the same thing? Frothing forget it. It's called bludgeoning the reader with that particular detail. The bludegoning comes across to the reader as the writer being condescending. You lose readers that way.

I know that I do. It works. *g*

I'm not a condescending writer. *g*