The Power of the 5 Senses in Stories

Geri Spieler
Writers’ Blokke
Published in
3 min readFeb 15, 2022

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Writing is about inhabiting an entire world and everything we experience

Photo Creaton by Five Cells for iStock for Getty Images

When we walk through life in the real world, there are things around us we don’t necessarily notice. We just absorb the sight and smells that make up our reality.

However, in order to bring your book and the characters to life, we need to recreate these things for our book. In this post, we talk about the power of the five senses in stories and why they are important in the books you write.

Whatever genre you are writing; a short story, novel, or memoir you need to bring the world to life by incorporating the five senses your characters should experience. If not, they won’t exist for your reader. Using the senses is one way you can show what your character is experiencing rather than telling.

We do this by moving into the bodies of our characters and experiencing the story through them.

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov

When readers can smell the bread baking, feel the delicate lace of a dress or hear the dog bark, then writing becomes real.

Pay attention to every scene in your book and reflect on what is happening to your characters? Then, write the scene with the five senses in mind. Readers…

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Geri Spieler
Writers’ Blokke

Award-winning writer, master researcher, journalist, former Gartner analyst, non-fiction author. Reach me at gspieler@gmail.com