Invoking The Five Senses

From writer K.M. Allan: Invoking the Five Senses

K.M. Allan

When it comes to writing, the deeper the connection you can make with the reader, the better off your book will be.

I’ve talked about this in the last two blogs posts (How To Write In Deep POV and How To Master Show, Don’t Tell, for those playing at home), and how using these writing tricks have elevated my current WIP—a four-book supernatural YA series I’ve been tinkering with for a number of years.

Along with showing and deep POVs, I’ve been improving my manuscript using the five senses, as (I’m hoping) the following examples will show.

How To Invoke The Five Senses

If you aren’t already aware of the concept, it involves including the five senses in your descriptions and character actions:

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Taste

You can, of course, include The Sixth Sense if your story involves seeing dead people or Bruce Willis.



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21 thoughts on “Invoking The Five Senses

  1. Wow, some very beautiful prose on “Invoking The Five Senses”. Lovely to read! Enriching. I want to delve into K.M. Allan’s other posts on POV. Great post Michael. All in all this should go well with the stunning and insightful critique you sent me on the first chapter of my WIP. That critique was the most effective one I have ever received and got me turned in the right direction to dig into my character’s hearts and souls. I’ve written some scenes as a result of it that astonish me. This is exciting stuff here and I intend to look into the other posts from Ms. Allan this weekend.
    –MJ 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you! I’m nearing the end of my re-writes on book one, then it’s back out into the submission trenches it will go. I made some huge changes to it and really improved the overall writing, so I’m hoping it’ll have more luck this time (I first sent it out 2 years ago). I’m really happy with the draft now, and hoping to at the very least get some feedback that isn’t just a generic “no thanks”.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Invoking The Five Senses re-blog from e. michael helms – INCEST CENTRAL

  3. Best of luck, K.M. If you need a bit of feedback (for what my record is worth), I’d gladly take a look at a chapter or two. No strings, of course, and my honest opinion. I’m no expert, but I’ve been traditionally published for 30 years. Just a thought, and again, no strings for a chapter or two. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael, as usual you are too modest. I have a degree in Lit and Creative Writing and grad school in that area having had many writers as my profs. One of them is very famous. I still say the critique I got from you was better than anything I got getting my degree or in additional post grad work I have done lately. The degrees are all nice but the key is talent and that a person has or has not. Just sayin. Geez I would beg you to read more of my book later on when I have done more editing. Again just sayin. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • I hate to make a Marine blush! No more begging, I promise. lol. But I’m not too proud to do it. I also appreciate friendship and support and a comrade in the writing game. And I send my best back to you and yours. I hope your deck is dry and free of mosquitoes after the hurricane and that your family can enjoy it during the holiday tomorrow. Have a great day! 🙂


  4. This is a great post and I read all the information from K.M. Allan and found it very helpful. Michael I have re-written the entire beginning of FULCRUM OF DESIRE and found some odd and edgy scenes and directions that took me by surprise. This was inspired (dare I say it?) by that specific and encompassing critique of yours that touched on so many areas of writing.
    You are tempting me greatly to ask you to read what resulted. Or maybe I just want you to do it. Probably the latter. One of the scenes is very disturbing but after pushing the POV third person as deep as I could it ended up where it did. I know you are busy with DEADLY VERSE so I didn’t want to disturb you. And after so many weather disasters I also did not want to bother you. Nevertheless, if you want to read it I will print it and send it to you. Windows 10 being agreeable I hope. So let me know if you are too busy and want to take it up later or if you feel like it in the next weeks. Whenever you want. I don’t like being a bother and I do mean that. It is just so tempting to ask…..:-)


    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! That is so nice of you after all the hurricanes and the fire and all. But maybe things are settling down some. I will try to print it as I know you prefer that. I know where to send it. Let me see if I can do that. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Windows cooperated and I have it printed. I’ll mail it to the address on the envelope from before. Michael, thank you for the feedback whatever it is. It is so generous of you.
        Writing is sort of like parallel parking. If I know the angle of the turn I am more likely to get close enough to the curb. You always get snug to the curb and I see it in all of your books. Driving lessons greatly appreciated! 🙂


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