Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Senses

I love sensory additions in books. I love hearing about the unique smells and the texture of fabrics. I'm very biased in this however - I was cursed blessed with my father's sensitive nose, so my first impression of something is usually determined by sight and smell.

I'd like to stress how different description and sensory mentions are in novels. For instance, in fantasy novels, especially ones like The Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson. Wonderful wordbuilding, intricate plot. But there were chapters where he'd spend a page just talking about how a valley was laid out, how the wind blew from the east which was evidenced in the ripples on the lake which had thirteen types of fish that depended on...well you get my drift. These kinds of lengthy descriptions I can do without. If there's something important there, bold it or something because I'm likely to skip over large, wordy, pastoral scenes.

Now sensory mentions... they're different. They are typically one to three sentences and bring you right in to the scene or the world. In a project I'm working on about gymnastics, there's the smell of hand chalk and sweat. These kinds of mentions I absolutely love. But again, I'm biased. But either way, don't write an entire scene about the layout of a valley, I beg of you!

What's your opinion? Sensory or description?

1 comment:

  1. There's definitely a balance to maintain. ;)