I consider myself to be very in tune with my mind and my body and how outside influences affect me. I often try to allow my five senses to lead me through life. If it smells good I want to taste it (for me smell and taste usually go together), if it feels good I want to hold it, if it looks beautiful I want to stare at it, if it sounds good I want to immerse myself in it.
I’ve noticed over the years that my sense of smell is by far one of my more dominant senses. I can smell things usually before other people can and also I’ve noticed that certain smells will trigged poignant memories or feelings. The smell of rain instantly relaxes me. The smell of freshly cut grass instantly makes me feel that it is summer outside. The smell of cake baking reminds me of my grandmother. The smell of collard greens reminds me of holidays with my family. The things that are triggered by my sense of smell are not just mild reminiscent either. When these smells engulf my senses I feel like I have been shot back to a place in the past instantly. Like I am right there by my grandmother’s side while we sit in the kitchen waiting for the cake to bake.
Somewhere along these lines was when I realized how important these five little things are to a story. The things the characters taste, smell, hear, touch and see make the book complete. They make a story come alive apposed to seeming flat and lifeless. They draw the reader into the story and make them feel as if they are there, or could be there. They can make a story truly unforgettable.
Tell me what you think. Do you agree or have I been getting a whiff of a little too much cake. :P