Don’t Forget your Scent-sations!

I’m a terrible blogger!  I told myself I wouldn’t go more than a week without posting something, and now look where we are.  BUT, it’s not all terrible news!

I finally got a job!

It’s nothing fancy, mind you, but it will give me an income… As well as a reason to get up in the morning, so.  Hopefully I’ll be back to my productive self before you know it.  My friend Amanda is actually on vacation this week, but when she gets back we’re going to start our little writer’s club, so.  She can crack the whip and get me into shape!  (Writerly speaking.)

Also, for anyone who didn’t know, Michelle had her first BOOK SIGNING the other day!  ❤  I’m so excited for her.  Apparently it went pretty well, but there should be a post coming up with some video and more detail.  I’m waiting for it with baited breath.


You might be waiting, now, for the point of my terrible pun-filled post title.  AND I WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

A writer has a lot of work cut out for them.  We’re tasked with building a world out of words–fleshing it out, making it believable, but not bogging down the reader.  We pick and choose over a myriad of choices of what to say that will give our readers the best idea of what is happening and where it’s taking place, but just enough so that their beautiful brains can take over and build the rest.

How do we do that?  Well, with a lot of things, the senses not being least among them.  But while it’s easy to remember things like touch or sight, some of the others can get forgotten–but they’re also important, and can be used to great effect at giving humanistic details that your readers will identify with!

Smell, for example.

Smells are an excellent way to describe a setting without beating your readers over the head with it.  I’m sure everyone has thought about the ‘coppery’ smell of blood, or the like, but remember: smells can also be linked to memories in our brains.  So don’t forget to make use of that!  Take me, for instance.  Sometimes early summer mornings remind me of summer camp.  That one could be hard to explain, since I’m not even sure what the smell isexactly, but that’s what I think of.  Or how sauerkraut smell instantly drums up the memory of my family reunion, since my mom always insists on making it, and we have to drive 3 hours to Pennsylvania in a car that smells like sauerkraut.  Smells on their own are wonderful details, but remember–smells also have very deep memories attached!

Sound is another.

This one is a little more obvious, but sounds can also have memories attached.  One time I listened to a Kelly Clarkson CD on loop while I was reading an Artemis Fowl book, so now when I hear any of those songs I immediately think about that series.  I know–that might not come in so handy when writing, but it IS interesting to think about!

Lastly, taste!

Sometimes tastes can have really interesting memories attached to them, or just put you in mind of the oddest things!  Have you ever sat down to eat something, and what you were eating tasted like something else smells?  I get that a lot, actually, and I think it’s definitely something to make use of appropriately in writing–it’s all about coming up with new and interesting ways to describe things. For instance, I once had a bowl of ravioli that tasted like sheep smell–you know, like sheep at the fair?  (And yes, I kept eating them, but I was hungry.)  Another example was some sort of dish I had at a Middle Eastern place.  The rest of the food was delicious, but that particular dish looked kind of like the Bog of Eternal Stench from Labyrinth, and tasted like the barns at the fair smell.  (I guess a lot of food tastes like animal smell?)

Probably one of my favorites, however, was a curry they served at school once.  It had such a peculiar taste, but it wasn’t until my friend said what she thought it tasted like that I realized she was absolutely right– Sparkler smoke.  The curry tasted like the smoke sparklers give off when you light them on the 4th of July.  Isn’t that odd?  But it gives such an interesting detail to a character eating curry!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed this little dalliance.  I’m going to do a short post soon talking about my new job and my new computer and, hopefully, my progress, but in the meantime I haven’t forgotten you, and I hope you’ll bear with me!




2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget your Scent-sations!

  1. A) Congrats on your job!!! B) Thanks for the shout-out 🙂 C) My friend is working on editing the video of the book signing, so … not sure when that will be posted, lol. D) Smells! Sounds! Tastes! You’re definitely right, it’s the little things that just transport you back in time. Whenever I hear Blinded By The Light, I’m back in my mom’s car, driving along a curving country road, off to play mini-putt in the heat of summer. Or whenever I hear Mellow Yellow, I’m running beside the Undercity, hoping I don’t run into any Horde players on my way to the Scarlet Monastery. (Yes, that was a WoW reference, lol.) Best of luck at your new job — tell us how it goes!!! Inquiring minds want to know!!!

    • Ha ha ha, thank you! :)) I just finished all my training, and I start on Thursday, so I will make sure to write something about it! (LOL, and I totally got that WOW reference.) I just always think that it is fascinating what kind of memories we can conjure from off-the-wall things like taste or smell or sound, and using any little thing to help enhance detail when you’re writing is awesome!

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