5-Step Creative Writing Exercise Using The 5 Senses | Writer’s Relief

Mar 13, 2024 | Creative Writing Craft and Techniques, Inspiration And Encouragement For Writers, Writing Tips

5-Step Creative Writing Exercise Using The 5 Senses | Writer’s Relief

If you want to fully immerse your readers in your short story, poem, memoir, or novel, it’s important to incorporate all five senses into your writing. The experts at Writer’s Relief note that too often writers focus on sight and ignore the other four senses. Yet, including all the sensory details in your writing can make a spring rainstorm seem more refreshing or approaching footsteps in a dark, moldy old mansion more ominous. This unique, 5-step creative writing exercise using the 5 senses will strengthen your writing and help keep your readers intrigued.

5-Step Writing Exercise For The 5 Senses

Use this countdown exercise to improve your writing through better, more vivid descriptions based on the 5 senses.

Five For Sight

Name five things you can see around you, then write down the colors, shapes, textures, and any interesting details. Is the blue wool sweater hanging on the hall coatrack missing a button? Are the leaves on the little bonsai tree a healthy green or flecked with brown?

Four For Touch

Find four things you can describe through your sense of touch. If possible, pick up the item and write about how it feels. You might describe the soft, nubby texture of a crocheted blanket or the cold condensation on your glass of iced tea. Remember, you can also feel things you can’t actually touch—a breeze against your cheek can be gentle and warm or painfully cold.

Three For Sound

What do you hear around you? Listen and choose three different sounds to write about. Do you hear a loud conversation at a nearby table—and is it angry or happy and boisterous? Is the wind rattling the window near your desk? Including sounds in your writing is a great way to introduce atmosphere: the same forest night might be filled with the soothing sounds of crickets and spring peepers or the menacing sounds of howling coyotes and creatures rustling through the underbrush.

Two For Smell

Smells can evoke memories or strong reactions. Try to notice and define two distinct scents where you are right now. Is it clearly time for the nearby garbage to be taken out, or are the cinnamon rolls (made according to Grandma’s recipe) almost finished baking? Describing the smells can make your writing more three-dimensional for readers.

One For Taste

Taste may be the hardest sense to write about. Everyone’s taste is subjective: You may love the taste of blueberries, while someone else can’t stomach it. Choose one taste and write a few sentences about it. Is it the bitter kick in your first cup of coffee each morning or the buttery taste of movie theater popcorn? Keep in mind, not all tastes are food related. You might write about the taste of blood from a cut lip or of the cold metal flagpole where your tongue is now stuck after a double-dog dare.

By including descriptions that integrate all five senses, you’ll be able to immerse your readers in your writing. These writing exercises and tips will give you a good start! And when you’re ready to submit your work for publication, Writer’s Relief can give your submission strategy an even better start! Our research experts will pinpoint the best markets for your writing to boost your odds of getting an acceptance. Learn more about our services and submit your work to our Review Board today!

Whether you want to take the traditional publishing route or are thinking about self-publishing, Writer’s Relief can help. Give us a call, and we will point you in the right direction!


Question: Which sense do you feel is easiest to write about?