24 Mar 2013

What is Sensory Language?



Sensory language is a great way to 'add more detail' and 'be more specific' in your writing. 

The examples below are meant for creative writing (stories) but also work well in persuasive writing too, when you want to create a vivid (life-like) word picture. 

You can also comment on when other writers use it: they use more than one of the senses to create a vivid picture or mood. Find some nice examples of description using sensory language here.

SIGHTS


  • colour, (hot or cool, clashing, bright, neon, dark, light, pale
  • shape, zoom in on interesting details, e.g. fingerprints in dust, eyeliner smudged as if she’d been crying, hands shaking

SOUNDS

some effective techniques are:

  • onomatopoeia: crashed, banged, crackled
  • similes: a voice like a rusty gate, girls shrieked like monkeys fighting over the last banana
  • personification: wind sang a dismal tune

SMELLS

  • Use adjectives like: musty, damp, stuffy, sweet, sickly, spicy, perfumed, suffocating
  • Use verbs like: wafted, filled the air

TEXTURES


  • sticky, smooth, rough, soft, hard, silky, fluffy, fuzzy, starchy, crisp, corrugated, rippled, abrasive, cracked, etc
  • Similes: rough as sandpaper, soft as a jellyfish, moist as a tongue

TASTES

Use vivid descriptive vocabulary to evoke flavours:
e.g. bitter, sweet, rich, dark, buttery, tasted like plastic (wet cardboard, a sponge) etc.