Using sensory in scenes

Do you use the five senses to create a scene?

Sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. Using at least three of the senses in each scene will give a strong punch your readers can relate to. It puts readers in the picture and let’s them interact with the characters.

Not only should you use sensory in your writing, you should also use it to write. What do I mean by that? I’ll share an example.

While writing a scene in my upcoming book, Smoke and Embers, I got to a point where I was stuck. I knew what I wanted to portray to my readers, but I couldn’t put the words on paper. I went to my readers on Facebook and asked questions. Then I took a short break. We turned up the music (I was attending a craft retreat with friends), and I took a peek at my friend’s photographs. Darkside Photography uses warm lighting in her settings to make her photos pop. After browsing through her portfolio, I sat back down for another attempt at the scene I was working on.

The song that was playing, Ride by Chase Rice, and the images of Brandy’s photographs combined in my subconscious. Sound and Sight. These senses contributed to the final scene. (sneak peek below!)


“Soft and slow this time for you baby.”

“Gentle, but make me scream.” His grin told her all she needed to know. “I want you to hear me yell your name.”

“Damn, you’re killing me.”

He laid her back on the bed, his hands explored, making her hotter. The sun streaming in through the windows cast a warm, sensual glow on his body. His eyes held her captive as he slid his hands up her legs, over the sensitive skin of her thighs, across her stomach. Tears welled up in her eyes when he leaned over and kissed where their baby was safe and secure. ~~~~ Smoke and Embers

See how the music and influence of photos helped me create a scene? Yes, this is part of a love scene, so I have to admit that the glass of Merlot I was drinking also helped.

~~~~~ Take a scene you are working on, use surrounding senses, and incorporate sensory into your words. What’s playing in the background? What do your surroundings look like? Are you having a drink? Feel what’s around you and let your imagination flow. What are your characters doing at that particular moment? What’s the weather like where they are? Are there any smells that hint at where your scene takes place? Have your characters feel everything around them.

Email me a sneak peek and I’ll give my thoughts.

Til next time,



6 thoughts on “Using sensory in scenes

  1. I think I’ve included most all senses except taste. Please let me know what you think. I’d welcome tips:

    The box exhaled softly, moaning faintly like a bellows, blowing a gust of warm air across the room. Had it whispered her name? The gust was sweet-scented like spring flowers. Startled, she fell backward to the floor. Her first instinct was to turn away from the strange box and escape back into Miss’s room. It was evil, this enchantment, she was sure. Her legs refused to work; she was sprawled across the dirty floor as the sweet-scented warm air wafted soothingly around her. Tinley didn’t want to smile, but she became intoxicated by the fragrance and unaccustomed warmth. She clasped her hands together and closed her eyes to savor the sensation.
    A moment later, the soft moan changed fiercely into a baritone rumble that echoed up from the depth, sucking furiously, catching Tinley unaware. She tumbled headlong into the stinking blackness, the sweet scent now gone, screaming frantically. Her fingers caught the edge of the box as she tumbled around inside the chute. Her fingers ached but the vortex of wind pulled harder than she had strength. Her grip was loosening.

    • Hi Donna! I love that scene. It pulled me in and enveloped me in the atmosphere of the box. I tweaked it a little, but not much. I’m sending it back to you via messenger. Let me know what your thoughts are. Glad I could help!! BTW – when is this going to be released?

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