QUICK FIX: Getting in Touch
Writers’ Forum (February, 2009)
Touch is one of the five senses which we all use every single day. But because it’s part of our lives, it’s easy to overlook incorporating the sense of touch into our writing.
Weave this sense into your words, either through your character or by using sensations in your descriptions.
Top touch tips:
• Use texture when describing what your character physically feels. For instance is the sofa hard and uncomfortable or soft and spongy? Is the covering silky smooth or frayed and knotted? All of these sensations add to the ambiance of the piece.
• The sense of touch can be used to heighten your descriptive skills too. Is the wind warm and smooth or cold and biting? Liken it to honey or icicles.
• Spend ten minutes of your day taking particular notice of everything you touch. How many different sensations can you feel in such a short space of time?
• Write a list of as many sensations you can think of and pair them into opposites - rough and smooth, hard and soft, are easy to begin with. Try to find some really unusual ones to lift your writing.
• Practice a writing exercise which focuses on the sense of touch. It will make you aware of how this can be used in future pieces.
• Use similes – smooth as silk and hard as nails are well known. Think of some original similes of your own.
Get in touch with the world around you and think about how it really feels.