Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Senseless Act.

I had some great moments with the students in my writing class this week.

I had them write a paragraph, a short one describing a particular place. Very few included senses at all. Then I got them to re-write it, and to include senses. Sounds, smells, sights, textures. And some of the pieces I saw were really good.

I spent six years living in Tokyo, so it's a special place for me. But just a few weeks ago , while walking past a restaurant (not Japanese), I was hit by a particular aroma that made me think of a certain street in Japan. While many senses can trigger memories, smells are particularly good at doing so.

Of course there are more than the five senses we all quote when asked. There's also the sense of balance, hunger, thirst, temperature, and so on. And referring to these in your writing help make the words and the worlds come alive.

And that's an important way to connect with a reader. Senses are familiar all of us, and they will trigger a response at some level.

And in writing, an emotional response is a good thing.

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