Jan 12

Using the Senses in Descriptive Writing

Using the Senses in Descriptive Writing


Session 38

Good vocabulary, and using the senses in descriptive writing, about places and situations can make us feel as if we are actually there. This enables the reader to empathise with the characters and what is happening.

The more senses you appeal to the better this will work, so you need to think about sights, sounds, smell, sensations/feelings and taste.

Think about each of the following situations and imagine what you would see, hear, smell, feel and taste if you were there. Make five columns, and make a list, for each situation.

Sitting round a camp fire in the evening.
Pushing through a hot, crowded street, in a hurry, at rush hour
Lying on the grass in a garden on a warm summer’s day
Waking along the sea-front in the rain.
Sitting in a traffic jam on a bank holiday outing.

Choose two of the situations and look again at your lists.

Think of adjectives to go with the nouns on your list and adverbs to do with your verbs. Are there any additional or more interesting words you might add? Use a thesaurus to look up more effective or interesting words if you wish.

Choose one set from your notes and write a descriptive paragraph, about one of the situations in about 200 words.

Share and discuss.
Look critically at whether any passages are too flowery, or over-written. Has anyone used far too many adjectives or adverbs?
The aim is not to use the maximum number of descriptive words but the best and most effective vocabulary to transport your reader.

Be selective and edit/rewrite the paragraph using no more than 100 words!
Share and discuss.

If time, or as a homework, do a second situation but use 100 words or less.

Category: Group sessions. Tags: Appropriate language,Creative writing,Observation,Description

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