Catch the wind

Catch the wind

Monday, September 27, 2010

...senseless writing


senseless writing makes no sense! huh? what you talking about lenny? well what im saying is we gotta be really on top of our five senses and take notes about them so we could use them to make our characters and places and other stuff come alive for the reader.
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we gotta think about our senses and not just use them. if were listening to people talk and listen to the words and know what they mean were using our sense of hearing but mostly we dont stop and think does that person have a high voice a low voice or a real deep voice. were using our sense of sight but are we thinking does that guy talk using his hands or just sit there. does that lady cross her legs and not look people in the eyes. does one of them have some habits like knuckle cracking or playing with a moustache or swinging a leg or tapping a foot. see what i mean? that’s using our senses and thinking about them at the same time! its using our thinking senses to know about people and writing it down. if we want our charcters to be real we gotta think on all our five senses when were around people and places.
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its not just listening and watching though. we gotta let those other three senses be part of our thinking too. we gotta think about touch, smell and taste stuff. if were writing about being at a pizza place we want to know how it looks and smells and how the food tastes and how our character fits in. all this sense stuff makes real good descriptions of people and places.
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in my writing book writing magic creating stories that fly miss gail levine says,
“When you tell readers what your characters are hearing, tasting, smelling, touching , and seeing, then your readers will experience it all, too, and they’ll be drawn into your story.”
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do a fun thing for yourself and for a day think about your senses and dont just use them. take a bunch of little notes and at the end of the day look at what you said. youre gonna be soooo surprised at what happens when you get on top of all your five senses!
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do you think about all of your five senses and make notes about them to help make your characters more real and make your writing better?
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…hugs from
lenny

29 comments:

  1. Hi Lenny - I think Miss Levine has a very good point - and I bet your description of pizza would be rather good ..

    Your writing book .. and suggestion for us to make our own notes - and see what we have sensed all day .. should make us more aware .. great idea - thank you - enjoy your week .. Hilary

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  2. I try to use all my senses and think about them but I tend not to make notes. I think I should. It's a great tip.

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  3. I love the idea of taking notes of what we have sensed throughout the day. Thanks for the suggestion. Great post!

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  4. Using all our senses makes a lot of sense, Lenny. Sounds like you're using alla' your senses when you learn AND when you teach. Good job!

    ~ Yaya

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  5. I do try to take notes on what surrounds me and how my senses react to them. You can do it anywhere which is fun. Hope you are feeling better.
    Have a great day!

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  6. Hi Lenny. Thank you for sharing such a great tip. I'm going to start taking some notes on my five senses and see how it helps my writing.

    Have a great day!

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  7. Great post! Using all the senses is very important! And taking notes definitely helps!

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  8. Awesome. Thanks, Lenny. I think using this will help me appreciate every day and my experiences and interactions with people--especially since I haven't been writing much. But when I do write again, I will think about this!

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  9. Another wonderful post, Lenny. I can't wait to buy your best selling debut novel! :)

    I hope you're feeling better.

    Love,
    Lola

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  10. wonderful post man! i have trouble remembering to incorporate taste and smell. those senses aren't really strong for me, so i'm always blown away to read what things taste and smell like!

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  11. Hope you found the sense experiences in Candle Dark helped with your own writing, Lenny, hugs..

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  12. these are great, lenny. i need to remember this because it's my weakness.

    cd

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  13. Not only is having a post about using the five senses for writing a great idea, but your examples are so helpful. It's obvious you are a keen observer. You notice those little details that make writing so much more interesting to read, and more believable too.

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  14. What a great post, Lenny! Using the senses in our writing is something I think a lot of us take for granted. You are right that we should be THINKING about them more. I will try your note-taking idea. Thanks, Lenny!! :-)

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  15. Really great post, Lenny! I try and think about each of the senses when I finish a piece, to see if I've touched on all of them. Taste is a really hard one to incorporate into your writing unless you are writing specifically about food...Speaking of which it's 2 O'clock and I haven't eaten lunch yet....YIKES! Thanks for the great reminder...I'm glad to see you are up and about blogland. :) We all missed you when you were not feeling well....

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  16. I was just talking to some kids about using the five senses! They were just little kids, but when they started writing down their ideas with the 5 senses, it was really amazing how cool their writing became! :)

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  17. What a great idea. I am going to incorporate this starting tomorrow.

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  18. Great advice Lenny! Our senses are big parts of our daily lives, but I don't know if we pay enough attention to them in our writing. I'll definitely keep your advice in mind as I'm revising :)

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  19. Awesome Lenny! Sometimes I forget to use all the senses, but I know how important they are to the writing. Great advice! Thanks. =)

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  20. This is such a great idea Lenny, I've never thought about using all my senses to help with character development! It just makes you think about what we take for granted, how we aren't always thinking about what God gave us. Tomorrow I'm going to take your advice!

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  21. Wonderful post, Lenny. I actually have an electrical sticky not--right inside my computer--that I post in the corner of my screen while I write. It reminds me to use all my senses while I'm developing a character or a scene. Pretty neat, huh?

    Oh, and I finally an taking your oath!!

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  22. I love using all my senses when writing. Sometimes I even close my eyes and imagine what my character is doing, that way I know how it feels and can describe better.

    Great post. :)

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  23. What a great post and good advice, thanks Lenny! So often when writing (and when thinking) we focus only on what we see. We have four other senses. Let's not forget about them!

    I bet if a dog wrote a book it would be mostly about smells. If a bat wrote a book it would be all about sounds. If a mole wrote a book it would be all about touch.

    Thanks Lenny!

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  24. You have so much sense to talk of senses, Lenny! (Hee, hee.)

    Wonderful post! I hope you are feeling better and better every day.

    Cheers,
    Jackee

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  25. Such a great reminder! Thanks!! I try to incorporate smell a lot because every time I read about cookies or something yummy I always think about how delicious they smell :)

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  26. Hey Lenny,
    Sorry to have arrived so late in responding to yet another posting by you. My senses have been acting up a little 'ah choo'.. whoops ..excuse me! lol
    I do my very best to bring all the senses into focus when I write. I actually 'become' the character. In fact, if I'm writing about, for instance, our dog, I try to take on what the feelings of our dog might be. I even 'interviewed' our dog, 'Penny', before. That was fun:-)
    Great posting Lenny and thanks. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Big smiles, your way, Gary.

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  27. Hi Lenny! Thanks for the great reminder. I do try to use all the senses in my writing, but I don't take notes - that's a wonderful idea. I especially have a hard time including the sense of taste. I really have to look for opportunities to do that in my writing, which shouldn't be too hard since I love food. :)

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  28. Very good advice, thanks for reminding me! Taking notes-what a great idea!

    I've been away from bloggerville for a while. I hope you're all better!

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  29. I love that you posted about the senses! Did you know that memory is tied to the sense of smell, and so when we use it in our writing, it can create a strong, instant memory connection with the reader? And yet many writers don't use this sense very much at all.

    Hugs!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

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