Spice Up Your Senses

by | Mar 10, 2015 | on Writing | 0 comments

Have you ever thought about your piece of writing as your favorite dish? How many senses do you engage in the process of consuming this favorite dish of yours? Your nose must catch the smell of it the moment you enter the house and then your eyes can see nothing else but the beauty of it, especially if it is served in an artistic way. Then you enjoy this wonderful taste on your tongue as it goes smoothly down your mouth and at this moment you feel that you never want to send this bite away and you want to keep even feeling this magnificent texture sliding through your teeth giving extra taste to the already perfect dish, and finally the sound of it that makes you feel that you might be the only one hearing and enjoying it to the max. I know that most of you will stop reading now and go eat something, but before you do, let us think about a way to make our writing as delicious as that dish and even exotic and mysterious for the different tastes of people to enjoy reading as this delicious dish is enjoyably eaten.

There are three stages of writing and today we will see how we can move from stage one to stage two and in part two, we will see how we can move from stage two to stage three:
1- Bland Piece of Writing
2- Spiced up Piece of Writing
3- Exotic Ambrosial Piece of Writing

Bland Piece of Writing
It is literally bland like hospital food, full of nutrients and good stuff, but nobody wants to eat it. You wouldn’t want your writing to be like this dish.
Here is a description of a beautiful garden, but it is more accurate and technical than artistic and emotional.
My grandfather’s garden is the most beautiful I have ever seen. When you enter the gate, there is a big garden with a fountain in the middle and a hedge all around. There is a path in it, which you can use for a walk. There are many beds of flowers to the sides of the path with trees along the path that give shade to the whole path. To get to the fountain in the middle, you have to go through a labyrinth whose edge trees are as tall as three meters. The fountain in the middle is of a medieval style with four small statues on the edges and one big statue in the middle. It is a very beautiful garden.


This might be a good piece for a descriptive paragraph at school, but if we think creative writing, well it is writing, but you can forget about the creativity part in it.

Spiced Piece of Writing
We are going to activate the senses here by adding description of the same thing, only this time we will add what we can see, smell, touch, taste, and hear. Besides that, we will add a few more adjectives to the ones used above. We will spice it up.
My grandfather’s garden is the most beautiful I have ever seen. When you enter the gate, your eyes widen with the enormous garden and your ears are filled with rapture when they hear the sound of the fountain, and you feel hugged all around by the circling hedges. Your eyes catch a glimpse of the beginning of a long twisted path, and you feel like your feet are being dragged to walk on it to enjoy the beautiful scenes on the way. The smell of the roses all the way down the path makes you feel you are walking through a garden of paradise, and the sun never touches your skin so harshly because you feel the trees shading you under their canopy like a mother protecting her little baby from the sun. The tall trees marking the lines of the labyrinth stand like high walls with open arms you touch both sides to enjoy and to seek your way inside to the core where you start feeling little splash of water cooling your face, you know that you are close to the fountain. You have this feeling of awe in the presence of the four big guardians around the fountain; and for a moment you feel that you are this hero in the middle of the fountain, and you don’t even notice that these are statues of lifeless stone. It is a very beautiful garden.

How does the dish taste so far? So far so good, but there is still more to that dish than meets the eye and this is still the work of a good chef, but not a unique one. The real unique recipe is when you move from a spiced-up piece of writing to the final stage of exotic and ambrosial piece of writing.

Exotic Ambrosial Piece of Writing
The dish tastes good, and we would simply say leave it as it is and call it a day, but there is still more that can be done about this dish to make it even more delicious and this work will be recognized as that of fine chefs. The spices we have added so far led our description to come to this stage by adding sensual images and more appropriate adjectives to spice things up. However, it was straightforward and we used the sensual images that fit the things we described, so the eyes were for what the eyes could see and the ears were for what the ears could hear, and so on. Now we are going to spice things up to stage two and mix up the senses in a harmonious way that will make our writing even more delicious and exotic. A little note before we start adding stuff up to our dish; stay at this level if you are writing for some kind of homework or assignment for school or university, but if for creative writing, by all means, come with us.
Now the question is what else can I feel here even if it looks a little eerie?

When you enter the gate, your eyes widen with the enormous garden and your ears are filled with rapture when they hear the sound of the fountain, and you feel hugged all around by the circling hedges.
Here in this first sentence we used the eyes that widen with the scene of the garden, the ears with the sound of the water, and the touch for surrounding hedges. While this sounds logical and beautiful, let’s think of other ways we can sense these three things: the enormous garden, the fountain, and the hedges.
1-      The enormous garden: the eyes float over an ocean of green, feel you have wings for your eyes have flown far away without reaching an end

2-      The fountain: feel the water flow on your skin, see the fountain hair rippling and shining in the sun

3-      The hedges: see them like mountains blocking the sun; feel them like a winter coat warming you inside

What we are trying to do here is to engage some senses not in their direct functions, but to use some imagination and make them do other things as well, and to add new senses and try to feel through them the same situations to add more flavor, so here we have again the older version and the expanded version before and after for you to read and like the one you tend to like better:
When you enter the gate, your eyes widen with the enormous garden and your ears with rapture hear the sound of the fountain, and you feel hugged all around by the circling hedges.

When you enter the gate, your eyes float over an ocean of green and you feel wings on you for your eyes have flown far away without reaching an end to this enormous garden you behold. And then you feel the water cascading on your skin like a woman’s hair rippling and flying with the wind tickling your face with its delicate touch; and when you open your eyes, you see the most beautiful garden fountain you can ever see. Then when the sun grows tall in the sky, the hedges like mountains block the sun until you cool then they hug you like an old warm coat you feel warmth and comfort within.

It is up to you here to decide which one you like better, before or after. Personally, I think each is good in its own way for a special purpose, so I am never stuck with the idea of which one is better as I always try to judge the style of writing based on the topic, the situation and the audience I am writing to. I am not going to continue spicing up the rest of the description as I hope you will try that yourself. May your dishes and writing be as delicious and exotic as they can ever be.


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