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Posts tagged ‘sensory detail’

Using background sounds to create realistic settings

A couple years ago, a friend told me that when her 90-year-old mother got hearing aids, she found out she would have an adjustment period as she began to notice things that over time she had stopped hearing.

Once she began to wear the hearing aids, she heard the hum of refrigerators, sounds of cars going by outside, and other background sounds we all take for granted. This reminded me of staying in houses where I’d lie in bed in the quiet of the night and hear the creaking of the house, the wheezing of the furnace, and the clanging of radiators.

I’ve thought about how I should show this sensory part of the world in my scenes and settings. It’s a way to add realism, and I imagine it makes it easier for readers to immerse themselves in the story world I’m trying to create. Read more

Live in the moment so you can write in the moment

Children show me how to live in the moment. I’m teaching a creative writing class for kids this summer, and I’m inspired by how they experience life.

One of their assignments was to be detectives. “Observe what is going on around you and write it down in your notebook.”

As if I needed to tell them to be observant.

Adults often talk about stuff and think the kids are just off to the side coloring or playing with a doll or a truck. Think again. Children are sponges and soak up everything you say.

And kids immerse themselves in experiences.

In the last class, I brought out a tin of mints. The children came alive. This was their reaction: Read more