tasteTaste can be one of the hardest senses to capture. We all taste things, but each person likes different tastes over others. You want to use the sense of taste carefully. For some readers, if you’re trying to invoke the decadence of a lemon cream pie, you will succeed. For other readers, the thought of lemon cream pie will cause them to pucker. I’m not saying  not to use it, just realize that not everyone has a love for every food or taste.

Using the taste of castor oil will most likely get the same response out of any reader who’s ever had to take the stuff.

Don’t worry about your readers too much when using taste, after all it’s about what the character is going through, their sense of taste and the memories it brings out for him/her. If he/she loves lemon cream pie and it brings out a useful vision or memory that adds to the story, by all means go for it. If he/she hates lemon cream pie and it causes them to contort their facial features, then use that.

Here’s some good examples of using all the senses in a scene: http://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/using-sight-sound-smells-taste-and-touch-to-enhance-your-writing/

The sense of taste (and smell) can bring up emotions in your characters (and your readers). This is one of the reasons I’ve chosen to also cover emotional writing in this workshop.

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Describe a steak dinner. It’s also being served with potato wedges, creamed spinach, garlic bread, and a chocolate mousse for desert.

Exercise 1:

Describe how delicious the meal is. Everything is perfect. (seasoned to your exact liking)

Exercise 2:

Describe it as the worst meal you’ve ever had. (Too salty, no flavor, too much flavor, etc.)

Extra practice:

Do this exercise from a character’s point of view.

Descriptive words to consider using:

  • Decadent
  • Delightful
  • Delicious
  • Smooth
  • Creamy
  • Dry
  • Delectable
  • Leathery
  • Bland

Example:

I sat down to a fat, juicy ribeye steak dinner cooked to perfection. That first bite was bursting with flavor sending my tongue into a frenzy. The steak melted like butter in my mouth. I wanted every bite to last a lifetime. I’ve never had creamed spinach so good. I didn’t think I would even like this dish, but it was so delicious I’ll never think of it the same way again.

 

Read all the posts under the descriptive writing category by clicking this link.

Happy Writing!
Patti