Some alternative words to use for the senses

Image by Neofir72 from Pixabay

We are often told, as writers, that we should try to use all the senses in order to bring our stories to life. We have 5 senses (although some people say there is a 6th, and some stories deal with it, including some of my own) and it’s a good idea to change the word to describe the way the character experiences the sense.

We could say ‘He saw the dragon descending to its lair.’ But we could make it stronger by using a different word (or phrase). ‘He became aware of the dragon descending to its lair.’

In the above picture, we would be able to smell the vegetation, hear the birds singing and the rippling water. We see the green of the plants and the brownish colour of the water. We could dabble our feet in the water and feel the coolness, or the grass under our feet when we get out.

I’m not sure about taste, here, but if we know what we are doing, we could taste some of the plants. I know I’ve done so when I was young. the sweet taste of blades of grass when chewed or the nectar in the base of clover florets.

Here are some ideas you could use instead.

Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

Sight:

become aware of, detect, discern, distinguish, give the impression of, identify, look, look like, note, notice, observe, perceive, realize, recognize, reveal, seem, sense, sight, spot, watch

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Smell:

scent, sniff, inhale, detect,

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Hearing:

catch, eavesdrop, overhear, listen to,

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Touch:

feel, handle, stroke, caress, fondle, paw, grope, rub, run fingers over, run hands over.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Taste:

savour, sip, nibble, sample, try, lick

Do you use all the senses when you describe a scene? It certainly brings it to life.

Please leave a comment in the comments box.

6 thoughts on “Some alternative words to use for the senses”

  1. Being blind, I tend to rely on my sense of hearing, taste and smell. I do have some residual vision, being able to discern outlines of objects but not their detail. However, I do try in my writing to deal with all the senses, including that of sight. Having written this, I realise that I haven’t dealt with the most important sense to a blind person, that of touch. This is, of course vital, both in terms of finding one’s way around, but also (for braille readers such as me), as a means of enjoying literature. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

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