The use of sensory details in our writing is to to heighten the awareness of the setting. Helping the reader “see” is important, but adding the other senses builds onto the visual. Let me demonstrate with my own backyard.
I see my first roses budding. I see my sweet pea vines full of blooms. I look at my tall pine tree and other shrubs. Do you see those things too? Probably not. I can add color to the flowers and trees but it’s all still rather flat.
I breathe in the fragrance of the sweet peas, nothing like them in the world, I’m sure. That helps you to “see,” I hope, but even more would it help if I describe the fragrance, a sweet perfume that fragrance makers can’t quite copy. Roses have a different fragrance, and not all varieties smell the same. Standing under the pine tree taking a deep breath, reminds me of the mountain forests, one of my favorite places to visit.
My ears are used to the freeway sounds since I am so close by, but the repetitive call of the mocking bird is my preference to concentrate on. The rather raucous scold of the blue jay is different yet. The mr-rp of the neighborhood friendly cat draws an extra scold from the jay.
Picking up a handful of dirt might not appeal to everybody, but it has a distinctly different feel from grass, doesn’t it? There–a small dove’s feather comes floating to the ground–a new visual. It doesn’t smell, and it made no noise, but it feels so soft. I often find a little feather in my yard. It always reminds me of God’s love for me and how He is always watching out for me.
I hope you can see my yard better now, and understand how important those sensory details are in settings.
Make a list of favorite sense details, such as the fragrance of yeast when making bread. I just made myself hungry!