Making Senses

Creative Writing - Making Senses

Making Senses: Outline

There are five human senses – very possibly six – and therefore there are five or six means by which a character can interpret a situation.

In ‘Making Senses’ the interaction of specific ideas (i.e. a subject, concept, theme, direction, belief that is the focus of your work) and general ideas (the creative development of that work) through each of the six sense supports the structuring and development of creative text.

‘Making Senses’ also reminds you of the importance to write from all of your senses, providing depth to creative work.

Making Senses: Essential Details

Working through each of the six senses is an effective way of developing ideas for a creative text. 

The core idea/theme – and the creative development of that idea/theme – are explored through the means of six creative texts, each covering a character’s interpretation through one of the six senses. 

  • Smell text
  • Touch text
  • Sound text
  • Sight text
  • Taste text
  • Sixth Sense text

Each sense is thus used to provide a different ‘point of departure’ from which creative themes and ideas can be taken forward. 

Remember creativity should always be divided into creating ideas and developing ideas.  The more ideas you create (i.e. the more points-of-departure), the more creative, and effective, your written work will become.

Making Senses: Illustration

In the following example a number of short texts (‘Points-of-Departure’) have been created through using each of the senses in the order shown above.

A chosen ‘Point of Departure’ is shown for each of the six sentences.  The result is the outline of a creative work that could now be developed following the Essential Glanside process.

Making Senses: A Worked Example

The sense of smell.

You can smell a person’s status in the Town.  Each row of buildings has its own particular odour.  From the butchers shambles to the sellers of raw hide to the livestock market to the fish market, past the glovers, the collar markers, rope markers and the pewterers.  You could find your way back to your home by smell alone.

Clopton bridge was so much in her mind as it carried her across the river to the open meadows, with their smell of wet grass and wildflowers.  To leave the human smell behind her – crossing the river Avon to the meadows – she was forced to pay the toll at the door of the tower attached to the bridge where it reached out from the Stratford riverbank.

The sense of touch.

Outside the low and freezing clouds were heavy, and without any silver lining at all.  The cold had entered every nail in the wall of the cottage.  She could feel the determined grasp of winter. The weak sun had allowed it to come in and was now too weak to check its behaviour.  This was its moment.  The cold would not let go until it was forced out.

The sense of hearing.

The mist was a gift to the crooks and pilferers.  They rose with the mist that lay across the meadows along the river.  They moved with that sense of purpose that comes from their preparedness.  She could just hear that singular movement from the far side of Clopton Bridge; movement that was shrouded in the dark – and the dense mist that cloaked that dark.

The sense of sight.

There was a slight breath of a wind from out of the night.  She was sure she saw a figure running erratically across the long field that stretched out from the animal pens at the back of the house.

The sense of taste.

He was not there the next morning.  She knocked and the door rattled.  The echo that returned to her rattled around the house.  The kitchen air tasted of burnt food that had dried in a pan placed on a trivet over the fire.

The sixth sense.

The normality of the scene was the most unsettling thing.  The crockery was neatly stored on the shelves.  The inner door was open.  The fire had died down.  It had died without anyone disturbing it with fuel.  There was food in the wall cupboards, which were raised from the floor to protect their contents from the mice.  The door of the nearest wall cupboard was open.  From the crumbs on the floor, it looked like a mouse had been in.  There was a loom in the corner that was abandoned with the wool halfway along the run of the weft.  He seemed to have stopped work, knocked over his three legged stool as he got up, and then just walked out across the uneven floor.