All that seems to be on my mind these days, and just about all I’m doing, is working on my novel. I’ve been reading about writing a novel as much as I’ve been writing. I’m not a novice writer, but I am certainly a novice novel writer so I’ve been trying to learn as much about novel writing as I can learn.
In order to give depth to the novel and the characters, you have to use the characters’ senses to paint the pictures in the book that you want your readers to see. One surprisingly sense that I, in writing my novel, have found particularly effective, is the sense of smell.
If your character takes a walk in the woods, for example, and the wildflowers smell sweet and lovely, that sets a scene in the reader’s mind of a beautiful day in the life of the character. But if those same wildflowers smell cloying and too sweet, the scene is interpreted by your readers as something completely different.
In novel writing, smell can be a very powerful sense for the writer to use for the purpose of illustrating a scene.
The example I’ve just given is a very subtle example that a writer can use to set the meaning of a scene in a reader’s mind. Of course, there are examples of smell that are far more obvious. The smell of asphalt on a highway. The smell of different types of food. You get the picture. If you are a professional writer or have aspirations to be, develop a file of all the different types of smells that you find that you can use in your writing and that information will serve you well.