Can you describe these flowers in a way that stimulates all five of the human senses?

Most writers I’ve interacted with agree that it’s beneficial to craft narratives that will stir our readers senses. A good way to do this is by describing what our characters see, feel, smell, taste, or hear. The problem is, it can occasionally be a struggle to work these details into our stories. Either we don’t initially see opportunities to fit them in organically, or we just don’t take the time to because we’re more focused on progressing the work. Yet there are tons of opportunities in most situations to explore our characters’ five senses, and it’s important we do so because including them can make our characters more realistic and our stories more engrossing.

Whether we’re reading or writing stories, it’s easier to be pulled into those that stimulate our senses. Some senses are easier to include than others. I often struggle with taste and smellespecially taste, despite the fact they’re both so closely intertwined. I’ve come to rely on certain scenes, usually to do with cooking or eating, to specifically incorporate taste and smell into my work. It’s also interesting to use those senses in other contexts, such as in battle or when characters are simply taking a walk beside a patch of fragrant flowers.

It’s true that when they’re longer and not used in a way that furthers the story, scenes that seem to focus only on certain details can feel extraneous. However, as with almost any other scene, it’s possible to strategically implement them for maximum effect. Don’t use such parts only to explore characters’ senses. Suffuse them with tension through internal or external conflict, or deliberately diffuse tension through humor or reconciliation. Include an incident in them, even if it’s just introspection, that impacts a character’s arc. You could even use them to build suspense by reasonably prolonging the outcome of a situation. If your story is already written but you feel your work would benefit from more detail, you don’t have to add new parts to it, you can work brief descriptions into the scenes that already exist.

There are dozens of ways to enhance your story through your characters’ senses. As with anything, however, be careful not to overdo it. It is possible to add too much detail. There’s a balance you need to find, and it varies from story to story. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Describing all five senses in your stories can be invigorating for you and your readers. Depending on the scenes you use to illustrate them, you may also create another way to immerse yourself in your world outside of writing it. Once, I created one of the meals I wrote about in my work-in-progress. Just for fun, I included the recipe below in case you’re interested in trying it out. If you have any recipes you’d like to share from your books (or even not from your books—I’m not picky😊), you’re more than welcome to.


Cherry Cranberry Chicken


4 chicken breasts

3 Tbs. butter

1 can whole cranberries in sauce

6 Tbs. cherry preserves

A handful of crushed pecans (optional)

Dash of ground nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325℉. Cut up butter and place pieces in desired oven-safe baking dish, or smear it over bottom of dish. Rinse chicken breasts if you want and pat them dry. Trim fat off chicken breasts and put them over the butter. Sprinkle chicken breasts with spices.

Mix cranberries and cherry preserves with crushed pecans and spread over chicken. Then cover dish with foil without getting any flakes of metal in it (if your dish has a lid, use that instead). Bake for at least one hour.

I baked mine for an hour and thirty minutes because I wanted to be sure the chicken was cooked thoroughly. The sauce makes it hard to tell whether there’s any pink left in the chicken, so if you don’t have a meat thermometer, it may be safer to leave it in for the full hour and thirty. You can leave it uncovered for the final ten minutes if you want it browned a little.

When it’s done, enjoy!



I made this on Thanksgiving a few years ago, and it tasted great with candied yams, French-style green beans, and plain stuffing on the side. It would also be good with steamed or sautéed carrots or roasted acorn squash.

I don’t believe I included pecans in the recipe I made because one of the people I cook for doesn’t like nuts, but they were part of the recipe in the book. Based on my cooking experience, pecans would taste great in this recipe, so I listed them. My characters made a sauce out of fresh cranberries and cherries. I didn’t have the time or means to do that when I made this recipe, so I improvised by using canned cranberries and cherry preserves. Do it how you want.