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5 sense description

How To Exploit The Power Of Five-sense Descriptions To Create Engaging Stories

Often when people talk about starting to write a story, they immediately think about the description of the characters, the events, and the story. We have told a lot about this in our ‘dramaturgy series‘.

Writing an engaging story, however, also involves the talent to evoke emotions through the five-sense descriptions. But how does that work?

What are five-sense descriptions?

A good author must know how to stimulate readers by describing the five senses. Sound, music, images, aromas, and flavors must be present in an engaging story.
Sight and hearing are perhaps the easiest senses to describe. A more difficult task concerns the description of touch, smell, and taste.

How to use the five-sense descriptions in a narrative?

The brain works on impulses of action and reaction. Each action introduced, therefore, corresponds to a reaction.

An author has to learn how to communicate at a distance with the audience, thus using the right words that introduce a specific action and trigger the subsequent reaction. That is why adjectives are essential.

Think about what your brain suggests as you read these words

  • Acrid
  • Pungent
  • Ice cream
  • Torrid
  • Fetid

Similarly, verbs are also valuable helpers.

The trick is to try to describe the sense as minutely as possible.

How can you learn to describe the five senses?

An author who knows how to describe is an author who knows how to observe.

Often, authors fail to include compelling descriptions in their texts because they do not have a clear idea of what they are describing or do not have sufficient linguistic mastery. In these cases, the scenes remain bare, and the characters are not given much depth. The vocabulary used is poor or trivial, and the same expressions are repeated over and over again.

Finally, one has to work hard on one’s vocabulary to enrich it with as many synonyms, adjectives, and verbs as possible.

Examples from fiction: the use of the five sense descriptions

Even in movies, the description of the five senses is fundamental. It’s easy as far as sight and hearing are concerned, but what about the rest?
Think of the film ‘Chocolat‘ with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. The chocolate preparation scenes are shown with infinite care. At the film’s end, you almost want to make yourself a nice cup of chocolate.
Even in Disney’s famous hit ‘Ratatouille‘, the mouse chef is shown intent on cooking. The sound study was so careful and detailed that it made your mouth water.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov

Use bibisco to choose the correct words

bibisco comes with innovative writing software that lets you keep track of the words you want to use to describe the five senses. You can also create an outline so that you don’t lose the thread of the descriptions and risk repeating yourself in the story.

How To Exploit The Power Of Five-sense Descriptions To Create Engaging Stories -  bibisco's main character section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software

Conclusions

In this article, we learned how to exploit the power of five-sense descriptions to create engaging stories: it allows you to reach out to your readers and get them involved.
However, you must have a good vocabulary and learn to observe and use synonyms. In this, bibisco supports you and helps you during the writing of your novel!

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