Creative Writing Advice #2: Write with All the Senses by Nick Daws


Thanks to the 4th
of July holiday, this WEek’s
entry will be a day or two late. In the meantime, author and blogger Nick Daws has
graciously agreed to share his writing wisdom with all you WEbookers.

Write with All the Senses

by Nick

The art of writing is bringing your words to life on the
page. And one of the best ways to do this is to write with all the senses. In other words, don't just write about what
your characters see. Describe what they hear, smell, touch and even taste as
well. This is a guaranteed way to make your writing more vivid and exciting.

Here's a quick example:

Tony offered Malcolm one of his roll-ups. Malcolm had
previously refused, but because he felt guilty about dropping Tony's
paintbrush, this time he accepted. He didn't enjoy it at all though.

Now here's the same scene again, with the senses of taste
and touch added. By the way, this paragraph comes from the published novel Painter Man by UK author Jeff Phelps:

Malcolm had already refused one of Tony's roll-ups, but
now felt so bad about the brush that he accepted. Between his lips it had the
texture of toilet paper. It tasted disgustingly of Tony's Old Spice aftershave.

No prizes for identifying which of these descriptions brings
the scene more vividly to life! Writers are always taught to show, not tell,
and writing with all the senses is one of the very best ways you can do this.

About the author: Nick Daws is a UK-based author of over 70 books
and innumerable published articles and short stories. He is also the author of
the best-selling guide Write Any Book in Under 28 Days.
He has a homepage at and a blog at

Writing Secrets
is a budding new
feature of the blog, featuring practical tips on the craft. WEbookers
are invited to submit their writing wisdom by visiting my profile. Send me a message with the subject line: WEbook Writing Secrets I will collect the
best and brightest from my mailbox and publish them here. If your words of
wisdom are chosen, you’ll get credit, and a link to your profile, where fellow WEbookers will be encouraged to
check out your work.

Happy writing!

-- Melissa

You Might Also Like


  1. wow, a guest writer! very neat.

  2. Great points - I think heightening sensory experiences can illuminate all kinds of writing, from evocative poetry to humour, to gripping thrillers. I once did an exercise on sound alone, simply trying to re-create all the noises I could hear standing at the kitchen sink. It taught me a lot.


Popular Posts

The WEbook Store