In my last post, we took a look at one way to “show, don’t tell” in your writing. Although we tend to describe the things we see, there are a whole host of senses to chose from when you provide those “[s]pecific, definite, concrete, particular details” (Burroway and Stuckey-French 22) that add the necessary sense of depth to your story.

For today, I’ll provide you with a writing exercise focusing on another one of the five senses:

Taste. There are four main types of taste and each has its own words—sweet (saccharine, sugary), sour (acidic, tart), bitter (acrid, biting), and salty (briny, brakish). There are also a lot of objects that have familiar, but distinctive tastes and so are useful in description (fish, lemons, onions, candy, chocolate, pickles, beer, coffee, and so on).

Take some characters out for dinner—Chinese or Greek, burgers or gourmet, it doesn’t matter. Describe a particular course or even a whole meal. What impression does your description give? What do the characters have to say about their meal? How do they communicate with each other through their appreciation of the food? (71)

As always, feel free to share your work in the comments section! 🙂


A Brief Works Cited

  • Burroway, Janet, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, and Ned Stuckey-French. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. 8th ed. Boston: Longman-Pearson, 2011. Print.
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