Happy Halloween! It's an incredibly busy day today, but here's something I was thinking about yesterday, which ties in to a classic post you might have missed. Have a great day!
It's been said that the sense of smell is most closely tied with our emotions. That for a dying patient, hearing and smell are the last to go. But which sense is most commonly left out of writing? The sense of smell.
It made me wonder: why is this sense so vital to our memories and experiences? I did a little poking around and found several people who know so much more than I do. Check it out.
If you're wondering how a smell triggers memories in a reader's brain, check out Beth Groundwater's post, Smells for Thought. The mystery writer explains how smells can trigger emotions and memories, plus affect behavior.
Chip Scanlan's article, Writing With Your Nose, contains details explaining the sense of smell as a place, character trait, mood, and culture. He adds a four-point exercise for writers documenting smells.
And Jessica Lawson at Falling Leaflets put up a fascinating post called Smells Like a Novel, where she talks particularly about using smells to enhance the description of food.
If you want a blow-by-blow list of how to describe smells, there's a detailed one at WikiHow. And if you need to jog your memory of certain aromas, there's no better place to land than The Bookshelf Muse's Setting Thesaurus. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have compiled a fantastic list. Need a reminder of how a bonfire smell tickles your nose? How about the scent of a barn, a casino, or a daycare? The Weather Thesaurus will remind you of the scent of rain, or the damp smell of fog. They've posted a ton of entries, and more are added all the time.
After all, it's likely that each of our readers comes with a working nose. Why not capitalize on the sense of smell? Think about it. What smells could affect your main character?