The other Wordsmiths have had wonderful thoughts and ideas for our subject this month, using sensory details in our writing, and since my post comes at the end of the month, it seems to me just about everything has already been said. But here are few more random thoughts about sensory details.
In a recent story of mine (for adults) that was published in a leading Catholic magazine, a fellow writer (Donna Gephart,bless her!) made a note on her blog of what she thought were two great sensory descriptions. They are:
“I felt as if my life was slipping through my hands like butter off a hot ear of corn.”
“I dug through my purse to find the pamphlet. It was wrinkled, and there was a mint stuck to it.”
I appreciated Donna’s making special note of my words, and as I create new work, when I need extra inspiration for using sensory details, I turn to the 23rd Psalm for evocative word-pictures. Here are some isolated lines:
The Lord is my Shepherd
Fresh and green are the pastures where he leads me to rest
He leads me beside still waters
If I should walk in the valley of darkness…
He prepares a banquet for me in the sight of my foes
My head is anointed with oil
My cup overflows
I will live in the house of the Lord for the rest of my days.
Scripture quotes are helpful in many different ways, and these lines bring beautiful, soothing pictures to my mind. The expressive, sensory language of Psalm 23 never fail to give me comfort and guidance.