What you are looking for in writing your scenes is the total immersion of your reader into the story. This is what the past few blogs have been leading up to. I designed them that way so I could use them together. My hope was to help you create a scene rich in all the senses we humans use. Will you use them all every scene? Of course not. What you need to do is use enough sensory description. Use only what you need to provide your reader with an experience to allow them to suspend disbelief. They only need to do so long enough to read your story.
Sensory description can bring a story alive and let your reader forget their life for a while. That’s what they are reading for. They read because their lives are too disturbing, too hard to take, too boring. They need escape so they pick up a story. It’s our goal as authors to get them to pick up our stories to make their escape.
These descriptions allow them to tag along with your protagonists into adversity. That is what will get them to pick up your stories. Read over those blogs again and try to add a little sensation into your scenes.
For a character to come to life, it needs to taste things, feel things, see things, hear things, and yes, smell things. Think about where the character is in space and add a few sensations here and there. Use your own judgement about what sense to highlight. Ask yourself if it makes sense the character would latch onto that sensation. If it doesn’t, what sensation would work better. Write the scene five times highlighting each of the five senses and pick the version you like best.
If you are looking for an exercise in using your five senses to describe a scene, that’s a good one. Pick a scene. Write it down with an eye for what the character sees. Then write it again, emphasizing what the character hears. Then again, highlighting what the character feels. Once more with the character smelling its way through the scene. Rewrite the scene with what the character tastes, if they are eating or drinking. When you’ve done that, rewrite it one more time, taking a sensation from each of the previous versions. You will have a good scene that lets the reader experience the action just as the character does.
You don’t have to use all five senses either. We aren’t aware of everything we smell all the time. We may be aware of the things we touch and see, so think about that. Does the character hear something that may turn out to be important? If so, that would be a good description to include in your scenes. Use your own judgement, but don’t fall in love with your prose. You are the only one who can determine what you will include and what you won’t. So be careful and choose what should and should not be in there. Immerse yourself in the scene and write it that way. You won’t regret it.