SATW: 60 Second Travel Writer #8 – Using All The Senses

In your writing, use all the senses.

I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman, and here’s a 60-Second Travel Writer Tip.

Most writers are pretty good at describing what they see. But they often neglect to use the other senses. Describing how things taste, feel, sound, and smell can fill in the portrait you paint of a place. Listen to these excerpts from Lisa See’s captivating novel Shanghai Girls:

A bracelet carved from a single piece of good jade hangs from her wrist. The thump of it when it hits the table edge is comforting and familiar. And:

We cross a bridge over Soochow Creek and then turn right, away from the Whangpoo River and its dank odors of oil, seaweed, coal, and sewage.

Hear how See’s use of the senses of sound and smell draws you in and paints a fuller picture than if the descriptions stopped at the visual. When you’re visiting place, look carefully, to be sure. But close your eyes for few minutes and let your other senses speak to you.

For SATW Professional Development, I’m Westways Travel Editor Elizabeth Harryman.