#WritingChallenge! Bring your scene to life with the five senses

By Deirdre

WritingChallenge imageWhether your romance is set in a dangerous, dust-choked rodeo or the luxury of a boutique hotel, your ability to vividly evoke the characters’ experience is essential for the reader to believe your hero and heroine are real people – and to care about what happens to them.

One of the best ways to immerse your reader in your story is to describe scenes using all the senses. As Harlequin Assistant Editor Claire Caldwell says in her So You Think You Can Write post It’s All in the Details, “Visual details are the most common . . . but don’t forget to change it up . . . what does the barn smell like? What are the qualities of the hero’s voice? How does his chest feel under his flannel shirt?”

Your challenge this weekend? Write a brief scene or scene fragment – just a few paragraphs is fine – and include the sights, sounds smells, textures – and possibly flavors! – of the scene.

Tip: Try not to “interpret” for your reader. Let her experience the scene along with your characters by avoiding “filter” words. For example, rather than saying, “Evie felt the chill of the cherry ice pop on her lips. She saw a pink drop stain her knee, and heard the sound of cicadas, reminding her of the summers of her childhood,” try, “The cherry ice pop numbed her lips. A sticky, pink drop of melted juice stained her knee. Cicadas buzzed in the trees, and in the sultry heat, Evie was seven years old again.”

For more on using description in your romance, check out Claire’s post.

Ok, ready? Close your eyes, breathe deeply, listen . . . and write your scene in the comments here!