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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Strategy # 5 Honest Sensory Keys

Build Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative Setting with Impact

Introduction Honest Sensory Keys

The senses are as core a scene element as you can get, and are very important in writing fiction because they transform flat words on a page into three-dimensional, realistic scenes. Jordan E. Rosenfeld

Sensory Influence

As we build our ground territory look for the key sensory influences of each particular area. The senses permeate every situation. So it’s important to note which sensory details will most effectively add to the scene’s purpose: allusion, echo, theme, atmosphere, tone, description, setting, characterization, and plot threads.

What does the air smell like when you open the door in the morning, in the afternoon or in the evening?

Look for colors other than the flowers and trees. When it rains is the mud black, brown, or red? What colors stay through a drought? When you wade into the lake do your toes squish into a mushy bottom, or do you gingerly tiptoe over sharp rocks? How quickly do you dry after a sudden summer storm? Is it safe to light a campfire?

Mood, setting, and sensory details help establish their impact. But they also need to be genuine. There is no room for exaggeration unless the core of the narrative falls into that category. The same applies for no longwinded purple prose. The key is precise choices within the real setting that highlight without taking center stage.

Another consideration is what kind of scene is it? The sensory influence can either be a mirror image of the key content of your scene or can highlight the incongruity. Is your scene dramatic or reflective? How might that affect the sunlight streaming into a room?

For this strategy sequence we’ll examine some story excerpts through the lens of a suspense scene using some suggestions from Jordan E. Rosenfeld’s, Make A Scene, to build authenticity.

For example: Weather: “Using dramatic weather, such as storms, blizzards, or harsh beating sun, is a great way to create suspense if it imperils your character.”

Share: What suspenseful weather scene do you most remember from a novel or a movie? I remember the sinking of the Albatross in the movie White Squall, based on a true story.

Read deep, marcy

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