|Great Fruitcake Bake Off|
Welcome Vicki Batman back to Romance Lives Forever for a few writing tips.
In church this past winter-almost-spring, I sat behind a couple with granddaughters. The woman removed her fur scarf and set it around a blonde cutie's neck. The little one gathered the ends and rubbed them across her face and pressed them to her nose.
I wanted to do that. I wanted to buy a fur collar and do what she'd done in the worst way. Just by watching her, I could feel the softness brushing my mouth and the scent of Chanel No. 5.
I like to buy vintage handbags, and recently when I opened up one, a whiff of perfume teased my nose. Something old and special. Remember when ladies put scent on their hankies and stowed it in their bags? Remember peeking through Grandmother's bath cupboard and seeing the cobalt blue perfume bottle with a silver label inscribed Evening in Paris?
My cat is twenty years old and doesn't venture outside much. But when she does on a bright summer day, she will park herself in a corner outside my window. I'm so afraid I'll forget and leave her there; so after a while, I retrieve her. I always kiss the top of her head, feeling the velvet of her fur against my mouth. And she smells fresh, as if she had absorbed sunshine.
|Evening in Paris|
My malti-poos on the other hand have silky hair which grows into riotous ringlets. When freshly laundered, they are incredibly soft and the hint of apricot from the shampoo lingers. But after a couple of weeks, they cease being adorable and become plain ol' smelly dogs. Dirt-stained paws, gooky eyes, sour scent.
On Sunday, I took the dogs for a long walk. As we turned the last block toward home, I noticed the green pecans on the asphalt from the squirrels' munching. Even lines from gnawing were visible on the hull. The leaves from water-starved trees littered the pavement. Some shaped into long beige cocoons. Others in various stages of disintegration. The tink-tink of the doggies' badges clinking as they marched onward by my side.
When we write, are we taking the time to engage all our senses? Do we really feel? Do we really smell? Do we hear?
What does our hero's hair feel like? Long is different from short. What does their skin feel like? Most men have hair on their arms, legs and chest, and that intriguing line which runs below their waistband. And don't forget the scruffy beard and the adorable twinkle in their eye which makes a gal want to twinkle right back and move right into the sexy dance... Whoa. Too much romance writing. LOL
We can enhance our power of sense by observation. Stop rushing through the day. Sit. Listen. Take a lengthy look. A deep inhale and a cleansing exhale. What does the raindrop plopping on the tin roof of a boathouse actually sound like? What kind of caw does a parrot make when he flies overhead? What does gravel crunch like when we walk down a path?
It's hard to put sights, sounds, tastes, and smells into words; yet when we get it right, we transport our readers further into our story and giving them an intimate experience.
Sometimes, we over rely on ourselves to create the sights and sounds.
When I posted a blog about watching rain one morning, several people described the sound of rain. Lesson learned--ask friends what they hear, see, taste, smell. Everyone's experience is a little different from our own, and maybe, just maybe, they might describe it better and the words to take my work to the next level will come to me.
How do you enhance your senses for your writing? What do you recall from reading a good book where the author brought out the senses?
Museitup Publishing http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/coming-soon/the-great-fruitcake-bake-off-detail/
About the Author
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general "do anything gal" at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions, Noble Romance Publishing, Long And Short Reviews, and Museitup Publishing. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"
Find Me Here
Plotting Princesses: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com