Confesional Classic: Give Meh the Feels

Here’s a post that originally appeared in late July of 2012. The content was relevant then and will be relevant as long as people are writing and reading stories.

This week we’ve been talking about how to engage all five of your reader’s senses. Most writing plays heavily on sight: What the character sees, the look of the setting, witnessing action, and so on. However, this can be overdone and leave your work feeling flat.

Not too long ago I read a book that was so heavily visual, it truly felt cinematic. I was under the impression that when a writer accomplishes that, the work has to be good, right? It wasn’t.

It wasn’t bad. It was… meh.

A story gains depth when it feels more like real life, and in real life (most) people use all five senses. Try walking through the mall with cotton stuffed in your ears, or to a bakery with your nose pinched shut. Doing that makes you miss out on the FULL experience.

When you’re writing, it’s left to you to give the reader the FULL experience. In real life, it’d be quite obvious that one of your senses wasn’t being used. It isn’t as obvious in our stories. Without knowing entirely why, the reader can be left underwhelmed, disconnected, or simply…


Do yourself and your readers a favor. Incorporate all of your senses in your work. Friends don’t let friends write Meh.