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Random Musings
Sense exercise #2 
6th-Jun-2009 06:36 pm
Another sense writing exercise. Taken from many writing sites. Use a familiar place and describe it using my five senses. As I write, I can see clearly which senses barely impact my conscious thoughts.


I sit down and face a large perfectly flat screen, just like the ones in the ads these days, not the old monitors that bulged towards you invitingly. A blank page, but not a real one; only an electronic simulation of a flat piece of paper, complete with shadowed edges. Reminiscent of a time when computers had barely been lifted from the realm of science fiction.


My ears strain for noises I usually block out. A faint sharp hum. But was it from the computer at my feet or the screen in front? I never noticed how annoying it could be. It's a good thing my mind normally takes care of that kind of detail and filters it out of my consciousness. I think it's from the screen. Now that I'm aware of it, it seems really loud. And annoying.

What else can I hear? The distant roar of traffic from a partially opened window, sounding like an ocean tide rushing in. Fading in and out.

A single honk. Not sudden and urgent. A simple warning. Birds? I never noticed those before. Sounds like a flock. It's gone now. Must have been on their way somewhere else. Just travellers passing through.

Other sounds I can't identify yet but it gives an impression of space. There's life out there.


The pads of my fingers lightly touch the keyboard. Smooth jiggly keys. Two tiny bumps to tell me I'm at the right place. Don't even need my mouth to verbalize, it's only my fingers doing the typing. Fingers connected straight to ideas that appear magically on the page.

I'm slouching. Not good. I should sit up. Now, there's pressure on my back. Is that good? Uh oh. A slight twinge of pain at the lower spine. I have to remember to have better posture when I'm sitting.


Can't smell anything. Oh wait. I smell the dog. Have no idea how to describe it. He must be around here somewhere.


A flat sensation. An after taste of the Coke I just had. What does it taste like now? Not quite sweet. An artificial flavour clinging to my taste buds.

Avon_Hooked on Writing
6th-Jun-2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
From observation unless writing a sex/ romantic scene or describing food/ drink most writers don't consider taste.
Unless they are writing vampires and werewolves. :¬)

As for scent oddly enough it can be the most evocative of the senses,usually because smells often have direct ties to memories.
6th-Jun-2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Unless they are writing vampires and werewolves.
*grins* I have yet to do that.

As for scent oddly enough it can be the most evocative of the senses,usually because smells often have direct ties to memories.
I can smell my dog. No romantic associations come to mind. Fortunately. ;)
7th-Jun-2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
You do know that smell receptors switch off, don't you? They're only geared up for new smells, so if you walk into the kitchen you'll smell the burnt toast for a few minutes. Then your nose will become accustomed to it and ignore that smell, but be right there on the button if you turn the gas on and it doesn't light.
7th-Jun-2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
I think smells and sounds work that way. Maybe the other senses too. They either switch off or your mind automatically filters out details that you don't consciously need.
7th-Jun-2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
You seem to be more auditory than visual, I wonder if that's why you use conversations so much.

I'm touch/kinaesthetic. If you were to describe the book you are reading, how would you do it?

I thought about about it and came up with:-
It's the bigger size of paperback, moderately thick, difficult to fit into my handbag. Published by Wordsworth so the paper is fairly coarse , but not as bad as they used to be when they first started. The spine is dark, deep green I think and there's a picture on the cover, early 19thC drawing of an African scene (probably).

See how my order of priorities differs from the expected, I go for the feel of the book first. I am not the person to criticise someone else's descriptions.
7th-Jun-2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
That's interesting. I'd never thought of it that way. Dialogue is the easiest for me to write. Mainly it's because the characters are so well established in my head that they can operate independently. Their 'voices' are very strong. Being more auditory focussed might help explain it. It's very helpful in writing dialogue.

Your of a book description is interesting. It definitely has a different focus than mine. I can 'feel' the book, its texture, size and space in your description.
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