Our dear Brenda won’t be able to write for TUW for much longer.
Brenda–I will miss you.
Is there someone out there who would dare to write something weekly for our little blog?
You wouldn’t be taking Brenda’s place, as no one can. You will just be adding your insight.
Please let me know if anyone wants this super high-paying job.
Lately, I’ve been trying to take time to focus on the five senses.
What do I hear? A car outside, the footsteps of a stray cat, the rattle of window blinds as the fan hits them.
What do I feel? The watch against my wrist, the ring pressing into my finger, the hair tie slipping out of my all-day ponytail.
What do I taste? The aftertaste of a brownie I shouldn’t have eaten, but the texture was perfect–moist and silky, with the tiniest crunch at the edge.
What do I smell? Nothing lately…I’ve had either allergies or a cold for the last month or so.
What do I see? Soft, yellow, incandescent light, casting soft shadows across the floor, but my eye is drawn to the bright screen of my ever-present, never sleeping phone.
If I were writing a scene, not all of these senses would be important. But one of them would be. Determining the most important detail in a scene can ground your reader in the entire storyline. It’s just a matter of finding what that perfect detail is, and then finding the best way to describe it.
Sometimes, think I don’t know enough to be specific. For instance, I’ve lived in my condo for close to ten years. Just a few years ago, the Powers That Be (think local H.O.A.) decided my stretch of nothing but lawn in the front was sad. They had our “hired hands” plant a young tree. I loved having a new tree in my yard! A year, maybe two later, we had a horrific storm and it ripped one of the arms of my small, struggling tree. I still have one piece of it: a dead limb, bent out at a rakish angle, and denuded of leaves. It’s dead. I don’t have any tools strong enough to clip it — so sad looking. Like nobody cares enough to give this old gent a haircut! And here’s the worst part. I have no idea what kind of tree it is. If I knew, I would use that name, and you, the reader, would know what it looks like, how sad it is; so it just sits there (on “my” side of the tree—it’s what I look at from my sunroom cum office window). And some of you would know, with precision, what that would look like, if I only had its name. When it turns to autumn leaves. When the first buds of leaves begin to pop out in the spring. So, we all need to learn more, to enrich and nourish our writing: fruit? But what kind? Fresh pineapple (that makes my mouth water); cantaloupe (makes me squirm —I’m allergic to the fresh melon, but cantaloupe sorbet ? — great, if I can find it. Flowers? You talkin’ roses? geraniums? dandelions? orchids? Look around you, no matter where you are? How many things can you name . . . with accuracy? Those are the details which will make our writing stand out, be engaging, be memorable.