Writing in Nature

Using All Your Senses

Writing in Nature Tip #9: Last week I talked about each of the five senses. It’s easier to focus on one sense at a time. The trick is tapping into all your senses, all the time.

And maybe you already do this. When you’re writing a story, it’s good to set up each scene with sensory details to make it come alive for the reader. Not an info dump in a big paragraph . . . I prefer it when the descriptions trickle in a little at a time. A sentence about sounds here, another about smell there, and so on. That way the reader always feel connected to the story-world without getting bored by it.

The more you practice sensory descriptions, the better you’ll get. When you’re in nature on a regular basis, there will be days when you can think of nothing inspiring. You may look at the blue sky and not think of one original description. You may feel completely cut off from the natural world and what it’s trying to tell you.

This is to be expected. Because there will be other days, amazing days, to make up for it. Just keep open to your surroundings, writing everything you think and feel. It may take you a while to pin down all five senses, but then you’ll be able to insert those descriptions into a scene whenever you want!

Kids in Nature Tip #9: You can ask your child sensory questions at any time. This is good practice for them, until utilizing their senses becomes a habit. Before you know it, they’ll be volunteering observations without any prompting from you.

Go on a sensory hike. Ask your child to open all five senses and tell you everything he notices. What sense is he using the most? The least? Bring a snack to get full use of taste!

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