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Why Descriptive Writing is Key

It's sensational -

By Rosie J. SargentPublished 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - May 2023
Photo from Michele Raffoni on Pexels

Huzzah! A new challenge has been given to us thanks to Abby Mendonca's 'contribution to Shape the Future of Vocal Challenges.' A challenge which I most certainly vibe with. The challenge in question you ask?

Write a poem inspired by the five senses.

Sensational poetry? Oh yes, count me in! Thanks, Abby!

I distinctly remember a writer's workshop that encouraged opening our narratives with the senses. The senses quickly establish the atmosphere and tone of your work. What genre it is, when it is, and so on. It invites you as a writer to really expand your creativity and vocabulary, widening your adjectives and indeed your descriptive writing. Giving your readers a better in-depth image of the characters and their world. To quickly clarify the five senses [and their terms] are of course;

Hearing - Auditory

Sight - Visual

Smell - Olfactory

Taste - Gustatory

Touch - Tactile

Artwork can be found here:

1. Method

Firstly, we would do fifteen-minute intervals of sensory writing. This would warm up our writer's hats so to speak. The key is to not go back and alter what you have already written just let your own senses take over and write until that timer goes off. You read back through and pick out the bits you like, the bits you don't and re-write it again. Once you feel satisfied you can change your scenery.

Re-writing is the best writing.

Photo from iStock

2. Perspective

Secondly, it is important to remember that our senses differ between each of us, for example; your character has a blocked ear, which makes music sound like a vocalist is singing through a gagged mouth trapped in a glass box full of lukewarm water. While your other character can hear the music just fine, in fact, the vibrations of the sound waves tickle the hairs inside their ears.

Immediately there is a distinction between character and their sensory experiences. What if your character is colour-blind or visually impaired? How does one view the leaves in autumn (fall)? Are they a nicotine yellow, a lemon yellow, a deep red like plump grapes, or are they a pale orange, stuck between two shades? You get it right?

So what about taste or tactile senses? Say the character is autistic and a certain food they accidentally eat something they don't like. It's not the taste of the crisp let's say, it's the dry texture of the salt and the burning sensation of the vinegar on the tongue.

Photo from Lisa Fotios on Pexels

3. Narrators Only

What if there isn't a character in your narrative/poem? What if it's nature-based, or purely setting? Well, my advice is to personify your surroundings. The cool raindrops of spring had finally ceased weeping. A courageous little squirrel runs across a top of a damp concrete garage. The taps of the little creature dodging the fresh puddles made the rain's weeping sound like wailing thunder. [These are just examples okay].

Photo from Cottonbro Studio on Pexels

As a writer, you can really bring your work to life through sensory descriptions. Ask yourself questions, consider ulterior perspectives, and always re-write your work until you feel satisfied.

Good luck to everyone entering the challenge, and I look forward to reading everyone's work! After all:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."

- Albert Einstein


Don't forget to leave some love and subscribe! And as always;

Stay safe, stay hopeful and stay blessed! :)


About the Creator

Rosie J. Sargent

Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.

Follow me on Twitter/X @rosiejsargent97

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

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Comments (17)

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  • Utkarsh Sinha10 months ago

    Well crafted post. There are a lot of posts on the internet on this topic but this is refreshing and very informative. Good work!

  • Nice insights

  • Thank you everyone for your kind comments! I’m glad I’m able to help! Good luck with the challenge!! :)

  • Dana Crandell12 months ago

    I couldn't agree more with the point of this article. Comments about the descriptive quality of some of my stories are always a treat. Still, this article is a reminder that I could be paying more attention to these details.

  • Phil Flannery12 months ago

    Thanks for the insight

  • J. R. Lowe12 months ago

    Very informative, thanks for sharing!

  • Alex H Mittelman 12 months ago


  • nguyenquochoang12 months ago

    That's so great

  • Kendall Defoe 12 months ago

    A well-deserved Top Story!

  • Morgana Miller12 months ago

    Ooh, clever #3, that is. Great article. Congrats on top story!

  • Cathy holmes12 months ago

    Great article. Congrats on the Top Story.

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Erica Wagner12 months ago

    Congratulations on a really useful and thoughtful top story. One of the most important things for me in my writing is focussing on the senses — I really feel it's how you create a world, whatever it is you are writing.

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • An enjoyable informative read that I think a lot of people will benefit from

  • Daniel Hooks12 months ago

    Can I share this exercise with my creative writing class? I will credit you and I am going to send you a tip anyway!

  • Oneg In The Arctic12 months ago

    Really enjoyed reading this, it’s structured well and can definitely help out folks who are struggling with how to get at the challenge :)

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