When I'm writing a scene, once I've got all the action and dialog down, I like to go back through it again and keep the five senses in mind. Sight, taste, touch, smell, sound. Now for every scene, you might not need all five senses, but two or three can help draw your reader in to help them experience the scene with you.
I ran across the beach, the wind whipping my hair across my face as I raced for the ocean. I waded out into the water, not caring about ruining my clothes. A wave knocked me back and filled my chest with water.
Not really very exciting...
So maybe something more like this:
Seagulls screamed overhead as I raced across the beach, my feet sinking into the hot sand. Salty ocean air whipped my hair across my face. The icy water crashed against my legs and soaked into my expensive cocktail dress. My skin numbed as the water rose over my stomach. The air punched from my chest as a wave knocked me back and filled my lungs with water. The saltiness was heavy on my tongue and burned my nose.
I don't know about you, but I prefer reading books where I can be swept away, where I completely forget about the world around me and get lost in the fictional world. What's important to remember, at least for me, is to not bog your readers down with too many details. pick one or two important ones, just enough to give the readers a taste, and then let the reader's imagination get to work.
What about you? Do you prefer bare-bones writing, where you, the reader, plug in all of the details? Or do you prefer reading novels with more description, more sensory details? Somewhere in-between?
On a side note, if you're interested, don't forget to enter my Twitter Pitch contest for a full manuscript request from Suzie Townsend going on on my blog! The critique portion starts tomorrow, and the final entries posted on April 3rd! Click here for details!
Shelley Watters writes romance for young adults and adults. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two kids and two dogs. She loves listening to music, reading good books and letting her imagination go wild as she creates new worlds and torments her characters in delicious ways. She is an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is represented by Mark McVeigh of the McVeigh Agency.