Whether writing to capture your life, writing to entertain or inform, or writing for the pure pleasure of simply writing, sensory details add richness, depth, and realism to your writing.
What are sensory details? These are details that can only be detected through the use of your senses:
- the beauty of a white frosted birthday cake topped with strawberries and blueberries
- the vanilla scent of the frosting
- the sweet tang of the berries on your tongue
- the scrap of your fork on the plate
- the silky texture as you swipe your finger through the frosting
Happy Birthday U.S.A.
Fourth of July Writing Exercise
Fourth of July celebrations are so full of sensory detail:
- the crisp red white and blue of a flag
- the sulfurous scent of fireworks
- the tangy taste of bar-b-que
- the sizzle of sparklers
- the warmth of the sun against your skin
This exercise can be done by yourself, or done with your family. For each person participating in this exercise you will need either a pocket-sized tablet, five index cards, or a piece of paper divided into 5 sections and a pen or pencil that will fit into your pocket or purse.
Preparation: Label either one page, one card, or one section for each of the senses–sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch.
You, or each of you, will carry this with you throughout the day and evening, and pause periodically to record what you observe with your senses.
At the end of the evening, or the next day, look over your list.
- For those who like to journal, use this list as you capture the holiday in words.
- For those who like to write poetry, use this list as the pre-write for a poem.
- For those who write fiction, use this list to create a scene.
- For those who write non-fiction, use this list to write an article about July 4, 2018 as celebrated in your community.
Have fun. Participating in this exercise will help you capture and savor the very specific and particular details of your Fourth of July.
Using the comment box below, let’s share 3 to 5 items from our lists or a bit of the writing that results from it. Again, have fun, and let’s encourage one another!