Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Sense Of The Holidays

As writers, we are told time and again to make certain we are using the senses in our work. The sense of sight, sound and touch are fairly easy for any romance writer to incorporate into a story. The other two, smell and taste, require a bit more effort.

But this time of year, the senses of smell and taste come into play, big time. There's a car commercial making the rounds right now, where all it takes is the scent of nutmeg to put a woman in the holiday spirit. Granted, a lot of the associations between Christmas and smell have to do with baking–the aforementioned nutmeg, along with peppermint, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon–all remind us of the cookies we so look forward to.

For me, though, the holidays wouldn't be complete without the scent of balsam in the air. It doesn't matter if the enticing aroma comes from a live tree or from Bath & Body Works, the tingle in my nose when I get a whiff is all I need to begin thinking about Christmas and this special time of year.

So take a few days off from writing and indulge in the scents of the season. But while you're relaxing, think about how you can use the sense of smell and taste in your writing. Close your eyes as you inhale the odors and try to write a paragraph in your head about the feelings that spring to mind as you indulge in the smell of balsam or nutmeg. Have a glass of hot mulled cider and describe the taste as you drain the glass.

A writer's mind is never quiet, is it?

Happy Holidays, everyone!


  1. Excellent reminder. I'm with you on the scent of balsam and I love cinnamon scented pint cones. Happy holidays

  2. I need this reminder big time! Especially once I get into the meat of the scene. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    1. I have a check list for each scene, once my first draft is done, to make sure there's some mention of the senses in each chapter. It's not something that comes easily.

    2. I think mybe you need to write a blogpost about that checklist! I'd love to know what all is on it 😉

    3. Great idea, Danielle. I'll think about it. Don't want to give away all my secrets, but I could maybe do something about the list.