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Friday, September 26, 2014

The smell you say!

While a smell can't “grab” someone by the nose or “stab” someone, it still might be a powerful way your writing can be used to describe this most elusive of the senses.

Recently, I have been reminded once again of the power of smell on our memories.  It has come – as it does every year in the fall – when I am mowing the lawn. While it would seem that the “odor” of fresh-mown grass would always be the same, whether in spring, summer or fall, I find myself remembering the experience of running onto the football field when I mow during these autumn days.  It’s weird, I know, but that’s not something I remember when mowing during other times of the year.  There’s something about the smell of fresh-cut grass in the fall that immediately evokes the experiences of playing in my high school games.

We have plenty of words to describe other senses and sensations, but smell seems to defy words. And while human beings’ sense of smell is not as developed as that of animals, it's a deep and rich sense, and it can enhance how you communicate (especially when you're crafting a story or describing a moment).

As with anything else, when an emotion or one of the senses evokes any sort of gut reaction, pay attention to it.  Translate that reaction into the words that you share – and happy writing!

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