Monday, December 6, 2010

We Have Eleven Senses - Who Knew?

We’ve all been told to invoke all five senses in our writing. A writer once told me to print out my work and underline descriptions in different colored pens to see how much I incorporate senses into my writing and which ones I focus on. (It was sight, duh).

But Marilyn Kelly wasn’t satisfied with only five senses. She found via Wikipedia, the fickle god of knowledge, that Aristotle believed there were eleven senses:

Sight
Hearing
Touch
Smell
Taste
Pain
Balance
Motion
Sense of Time
Temperature
Sense of Direction

You can read about her Eleven Senses Workshop by clicking here

I've tried using all eleven (I have the list taped to my computer to remind me) and I'm convinced that a writer should address all of these things in a scene whenever possible.

There are a few other things to focus on that I’d like to add to the list:

Thought
Dialogue
Action
Motivation

It’s a lot to focus on and it can feel like juggling, but the more you put into your writing, the more colorful and multi-dimensional it becomes.

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