Writer’s Wednesday: 11 Senses Excercise


This past weekend I went to a writer’s group and had a wonderful workshop on the eleven senses.  Marilyn Kelly–a historical romance writer gave this workshop and I thought it was something we should all keep in mind.

Generally we only think of our five senses:  sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell, but according to Marilyn we actually have eleven! On top of the ones already listed we have: Time, Temperature, Pain, balance, motion, and Direction.

And in order to have a sensual (meaning senses, not sexual) scenes we should try to incorporate most if not all of these senses if we can.

In order to put an example to what I mean: I have an excercise I’d like you to do with me.  We’re going to take an object.  Say a feather.  Now write down a few things about that object:  Write down a sensory description, what emotions they evoke and what body language you think when you see it.  Then when you’re done with that, I want you to write a sentence or two about it using those things you just wrote down.

For example (this is what I did at the workshop.):

Embarrassment burned her cheeks and she froze, afraid to move even an inch, as he glided the soft, wispy feather down the delicate skin of her forearm as she teetered on her tiptoes still frozen in the spot she’d had as she reached for her favorite book on the high shelf in front of her. Her breath hitched and her stomach fluttered as she caught the minty scent of his breath when he murmured in her ear.

Obviously, this isn’t the best, since it was thought of on the fly, but it should give you a jumping off point.  So, go ahead, try it out.  I’d love to see your sentences in the comments.

6 Responses to “Writer’s Wednesday: 11 Senses Excercise”

  1. Jennifer Walkup says:

    >Very cool concept regarding the eleven senses. I'll have to bookmark this and come back to it later when I'm writing. Great post!

  2. Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) says:

    >What a pretty blog template! I love it.

    Also, my brain isn't functioning well enough to write a sentence, but thank you for the post. Most helpful.

  3. Bekah says:

    >WOW! This is very cool and nice brain art LOL

  4. Eleven Eleven says:

    >The trampoline squish of my soles sent my stomach into flea-circus cartwheels as I bounded along the shiny sidewalk. With ozone filling my lungs and cold drizzle slipping through my parted lips, it was enough. For thirty minutes, I could trade a house of conversational buzz for a stitch in my side. And, boy, that stitch felt good.

    That was fun. I love the new senses. I'm not sure I got balance, though.

  5. Susan Kaye Quinn says:

    >This is a great reminder for my revisions to make sure I include deeper descriptions. I think I had thought of these before, but not as concretely.

    Thanks! 🙂

  6. Janet Johnson says:

    >I definitely wouldn't have thought past the five. Thank you for sharing! Very enlightening. 🙂