Monday, March 17, 2014

Describe a smell

How would you describe milk, soap, a charcoal grill, wine???

In writing, this can be difficult but worth while as you dig into details that can broaden the horizon of your manuscripts.

Think about it. If your were asked to portray a spring day, after a steamy fall of rain, how would you accomplish this?

Some would put themselves in a mental picture of this and dig into what their senses were telling them. I know that I would because I'd never do it justice if I didn't.

Here's how some authors described smells: (From Goodreads)

“This morning, Tegus welcomed me again with an arm clasp and cheek touch. I wasn't startled this time, and I breathed in at his neck. How can I describe the scent of his skin? He smells something like cinnamon-- brown and dry and sweet and warm. Ancestors, is it wrong for me to imagine laying my head on his chest and closing my eyes and breathing in his smell?” 
― Shannon HaleBook of a Thousand Days

“Vinegar: that's what fear smells like.” 
― Jennifer EganA Visit from the Goon Squad

“I emitted some civetlike female stink, a distinct perfume of sexual wanting, that he had followed to find me here in the dark.” 
― Janet FitchWhite Oleander

“Outside the bus the smell of sulphur hit Bond with sickening force. It was a horrible smell, from somewhere down in the stomach of the world.” 
― Ian FlemingDiamonds Are Forever

Here are examples of  what I did, from Andromeda:

I smelled him. It was a blend of polished wood and cigars, but much older. 

I gathered the scents of sin, blood, and fear from several miles away as I became aware of my surroundings.

I stepped closer to him and breathed in his scent. He smelled of soy sauce, strong tea and unfiltered cigarettes. 

 I need to work on mine and plan to use it as an exercise toward future works. 

See if this helps any of you:
Words to describe smell:
acidy, acrid, antiseptic,  aromatic, balmy, biting, bitter, briny, burnt, citrusy, comforting, corky, damp, dank, distinctive, earthy, fishy, flowery, fragrant, fresh, fruity, gamy, gaseous, heavy, lemony, medicinal, metallic, mildewed, minty, moldy, musky, musty, odorless, peppery, perfumed, piney, pungent, putrid, reek, rose, rotten, savoury, scented, sharp, sickly, skunky, smoky, sour, spicy, spoiled, stagnant, stench, stinking, sulphur, sweaty, sweet, tart, tempting, vinegary, woody, yeasty.

Can you show me a better piece of something that you've written to describe a particular smell? I'd love to see what you come up with.

)))Corset Hugs(((

Ginny Lynn
Wench Writer

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