There’s a passage in my current WIP where my protagonist is standing at the base of a skyscraper, dreading the impending meeting she has been summoned to attend. The wind is whipping her hair and her skirt. After one of those rapid elevator ascents she arrives in an intimidating black marble and shiny surfaces reception area.
When my lovely BMan read this passage he said that I should highlight the change in air pressure, he works in a multi story building, is travelling the elevators all day and he said there is often air pressure changes. Added to the fact that the wind whipping had been such an element on the street, I think he had a decent point. It made me think about remembering to have the characters use all their senses, not just their eyes.
Smell in particular is a powerful memory trigger and helps a scene ring true. Recently Palmolive took the soap we have used for the last 4 years off the market (side note the whole 4 years we bought this product, right up until it was discontinued, the bottle was labelled ‘New’ – keep relevancy in mind people!). I have been trying to find an alternative and it amazes me how strong the smell of soaps are today! Anyhoo, the idea of senses being so critical was brought home to me when I realised the BMan smelled ‘wrong’ the other day, because of the different soap. It’s very odd to have the person you have been married to for 8 years suddenly smell different, weird.
I can vividly remember Little Man as a bubba had a child care worker who loved him to pieces, I would pick him up at the end of the day and he would smell like another woman’s perfume, my 10 month old was cheating on me and I could smell it! On the upside it did mean he was getting loads of cuddles 🙂
As human beings what we notice most is when something changes. A change in air pressure, smell, temperature, that is what we notice and that is what we need to bring to some of our scenes to make them authentic.
In my WIP’s first paragraph I have a really strong sense of sound – hopefully this triggering of the senses provokes a response in readers, a recognition.
What do you think?