Thursday, November 15, 2012

Smelly Writing

Most writers don't Dawn doesn't use the sense of smell very much in their her writing. We Dawn forgets about it or puts it in the "too difficult" box. Smells can be very powerful. I realized this as I was working on my lesson for 1st Writes this week. Smells can trigger memories for you and your readers. You don't want to overuse the sense of smell in your writing, but you do want to use it to add a powerful punch where needed.

The following articles have some great "smelly" tips for your writing: 

Using smells and taste for powerful writing

Listen! Do you smell something?

Using the five senses in your writing

Using smell to improve your fiction

Here is an example of how one stinky smell transported me... (true story)

One Wonderful Smell by Dawn M. Hamsher

There was a smell. It was like rotten cheese mixed with garbage. I caught a whiff of it as I walked past an alley in downtown Charleston (S.C.), heading back to my college campus. I backed up so I could continue breathing it in. Memories flooded back from Italy, where I had lived in the fourth grade. 

Trying to eat hard Panini roll hamburgers. Adopting the stray Italian dog, only to find out he already had an Italian family. Laughing to see a goat wander into my friend’s house and then go up their stairs. Being chased by a cow. Living in hotels for months. Eating rum cake every night. Taking the ferry boat to school. Seeing the rocky coast line and scraggy cork trees. Snorkeling in the crystal clear water while watching out for sea urchins. Dipping ants in chocolate and eating them in the school yard. Learning what a Bidet was. Watching my mom carry all the American conveniences in her purse like toilet paper, ketchup, and salad dressing. Having to go to Spain to get my braces and headgear put on. Helping my dad develop photos in his darkroom. Riding in the Riley with its steering wheel on the wrong side. Buying leather and blown glass in the market. Playing Italian Monopoly with my dad every night after the power went off at seven o’clock.
All those memories --from one wonderful smell.

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