“In This Place…”
Exploring the five senses allows your reader to feel like they’re there inside your story. Expanding from visual description by bringing in other senses adds layers and makes it more real. Readers can relate more to the atmosphere of a place if relatable description is given.
Obviously, this can be overwhelming if done too much, but small details really make a scene, so this is a task I like to set myself sometimes:
In this place, I see…
In this place, I touch…
In this place, I smell…
In this place, I hear…
In this place, I taste…
I got the original exercise from ACID author, Emma Pass, who uses it in her writing workshops.
The Wanderers is set in a circus environment, which is so much fun to explore in this way. Here are some quotes from the book that support each of these, which started off as notes alongside the prompts:
In this place, I see… The sparkly blue bows around their necks catch the light, dazzling. Well, they’re supposed to dazzle. And maybe they would if everything wasn’t so cheap.
In this place, I touch… Outside, it’s more plastic and crinkles when I touch it.
In this place, I smell… The smell of hot pastry and the tang of ale fills the air, adding to the comfort.
In this place, I hear… The sound of cellos pours softly from the speakers, so low that I can hear the rustling of popcorn bags and hot dog wrappers coming from the audience.
In this place, I taste… The smell of grease and salt and so many bodies packed into the tent is overwhelming. I can almost taste it on my tongue.
Thanks so much for having me!
About the author: Kate Ormand is YA author of DARK DAYS and THE WANDERERS. She lives in the UK with her family, her partner, and a cocker spaniel called Freddie. She graduated from university with a first class degree in Fine Art Painting. It was during this course that Kate discovered her love of reading YA books, prompting her to try a new creative angle and experiment with writing. Kate is also member and co-creator of an online group of published writers and illustrators called Author Allsorts. And she writes children’s picture books under the name Kate Louise. Kate is represented by Isabel Atherton at Creative Authors Ltd. You can see more about Kate and her writing by visiting her website (www.kateormand.wordpress.com) or on Twitter (@kateormand).
About The Wanderers: Flo lives an eccentric life—she travels with a popular circus in which the main acts star orphaned children with secret shape-shifting abilities. Once Flo turns sixteen, she must perform, but she’s not ready. While practicing jumping a flaming hurdle in a clearing beside the circus, she spots a dark figure in the trees and fears he saw her shift. The news sends the circus into a panic.
In Flo’s world, shifters are unknown to humans with the exception of a secret organization—the EOS, referred to as “hunters.” Hunters capture and kill. They send some shifters to labs for observation and testing—testing they don’t often survive—and deem others useless, a danger to society, and eliminate them. To avoid discovery, shifters travel in packs, constantly moving and keeping themselves hidden. Up until now, the circus was the perfect disguise.
Believing she has brought attention to the group, Flo feels dread and anxiety, causing her to make a mistake during her performance in front of the audience—a mistake that triggers a violent attack from the hunters.
Flo manages to flee the torched circus grounds with Jett, the bear shifter who loves her; the annoying elephant triplets; and a bratty tiger named Pru. Together they begin a new journey, alone in a world they don’t understand and don’t know how to navigate. On the run, they unravel secrets and lies that surround the circus and their lives—secrets and lies that all point to the unthinkable: Have they been betrayed by the people they trusted most?
Thank you to Kate for her post! What a great activity to expand the imagery in writing!
**Thank you to Cheryl at Skyhorse Publishing for connecting us!**