It’s like writing news stories all over again.
The town was struck by the tornado.
A black funnel touched down in Branson, MO.
Specific sensory details kick in, giving the reader something to see. And in seeing, Clark says, they understand.
“Dig for the concrete and specific, details that appeal to the senses.”
There’s a national Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Inside, there’s a room of just shoes. Shoes are shoes, and there is nothing unique about these shoes, except that each shoe belonged to a victim. A person once stood in each flabby fabric, very-empty shoe. A sensory detail captures the abstraction of the Holocaust and brings it down to a child’s level, down to the very floor where our shoes are. We can understand.
For fun (75):
“Read today’s newspaper looking for passages that appeal to the senses. Do the same with a novel.”
“Most writers appeal to the sense of sight. In your next work, look for opportunities to use details of smell, sound, taste, and touch.”