Making Sense of Our Senses – Touch, Smell and Taste

To fully immerse our audience in the worlds and settings we craft for them in our self-published novels, it’s important to let readers engage all their senses. A while ago, we presented the first part of this article, in which we covered sight and sound; today we’ll discuss touch, smell, and taste.


Our heroes often find themselves in unusual situations. After all, the whole point of us creating these adventures is to help our readers escape reality. This often means they are touching or coming into physical contact with unusual or repellent objects, things that our readers have probably always tried to avoid touching.

A great way to enhance your description of touch is to focus on the physical reaction it evokes. Your hero’s skin might crawl or become covered in goosebumps; they might faint or feel ill.

The use of adjectives will also help you with your descriptions of touch.



Smell and taste (below) are probably the hardest senses to represent in our writing. The first thing to do is to decide what feeling you want to create in your readers.

Smell links us to our past. Use its associations to help describe the conditions under which a scene is taking place. A bad smell in a horror story usually forebodes a gruesome occurrence. The smell of smoke is an indicator of danger.


Try and associate taste with textures. Think about various flavors and see if you can come up with a texture to represent it. This will help our readers appreciate exotic, alien, or repulsive flavors they have never experienced before.Blindfold

Here are the classifications of taste along with a few words and textures they might be paired with:

• Bitter: tart / vinegary
• Salty: briny / brackish
• Sour: tart / acerbic
• Sweet: saccharine / syrupy
• Savory: aromatic / wholesome
• Metallic: bloody / rusty

Bringing all Five Together (and Adding More!)

Skilled writers will be able to combine all five of these senses to really bring their story to life. The rule of thumb is: the longer your description, the more senses you should engage. You can even try to incorporate other sensations, such as our kinesthetic sense and our balance (our kinesthetic sense is the awareness of our body and the position of our body parts, and our balance relates to our physical stability). These are good senses to tap during fight scenes.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.

Author Feature

The Glastonbury Gift

The following are the words of Tom Tyner, Archway Publishing author of “The Glastonbury Gift.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

There is a Story inside Everyone

StoryAs a novice, I can only speak from the heart, not from experience. First and foremost if you feel within you dwells a story then write it. Don’t mimic me and put it off. For years my family and friends encouraged me to write. With a love of history, the gift of a great memory, and a vivid imagination, I finally took their advice. A person once said, “In every person, there lies a story waiting to be told,” this I strongly believe. Writing can be gratifying and aggravating but in the end, it is the most rewarding experience. I started writing not for the monetary factor but for self-satisfaction. Once I started I couldn’t stop, I’m currently working on two books.

For aspiring authors, I can only say there is no way to explain the feeling that comes over you when your readers tell you, “I read your book, when is the movie coming out?” My story deals with war, mysticism, and romance. It’s about a young man raised in the Florida Keys who works with his father on a fishing boat. However, World War II comes along and he ends up in England. There he meets a lovely English Miss and finds a relic that impacts him and all those around him.

Receiving Feedback

A dear friend approached me one evening and said words that truly Storyuplifted me. He said, “Tom I enjoyed your book, do you know how long it’s been since I smelled puppy breath?” Me too I replied. That one phase brought back an abundance of memories. The backstory behind the phrase is that it’s what our hero says he’s going to do after the war, can and sell puppy breath as a joke. Many of my readers connected with my story and said, “They could picture what they were reading,” which in my opinion is a very important aspect of writing a great story. I had an emeritus tell me once, “Tom in no way are you a great writer, but you are one hell of a storyteller. You can be a John Steinbeck with the Grapes of Wrath or a James Michener with Hawaii. Go for it and good luck Tom Tyner author of The Glastonbury Gift.”

Advice to Aspiring Authors

Well after I just spent most of the time bragging about my book, here are is some advice for those serious about writing. First, enlist the help of a firm, it will cost but it’s worth it. Archway Publishing was the perfect fit for me and my story. Second, never, ever go anywhere not even to bed without a pad and pen nearby. Don’t come up with a gem just to let it float away to obscurity and drive you crazy trying to remember it.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.


Unconventional Writing and Writers

The following are the words of Liz Reeder, Archway Publishing author of  “51: The Beginning.” For more information on Liz, visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.  Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

From Hating Writing to Author

I was never a writer. Growing up I hated to write. When I was in school I would write the least amount possible to still get an A on the assignment I had been given. That all changed in September of 2016.

In September of 2016, I was struggling with chronic illness and pain. I needed to find something I could do to distract myself from what was happening and feel productive again. That is when I had the idea for my first book, which I wrote in under three weeks. When I finished that book, I felt like it wasn’t done. That led to me writing a five book series in under eleven months.

Breaking Rules

When I say I am an unconventional writer, I mean that in every possible way. I didn’t like to write, I only had a basic idea of what I wanted the book to be about, I had no outline or even characters before I started and I had no idea how the series would end until I was writing the last book. I broke every rule I was ever taught in school on how to write successfully and for me, it works.

My Unique Writing Style

When I write, the only thing I work at creating is the first sentence. When that sentence is done, I simply move to the next, then the next. As I do this, things flow naturally for me. When I get to a point where I am introducing a new character and in my case sometime creature, I pause and think of what that needs to be. Sometimes that pause can be less than a minute and other times it can be hours or even days.

Using this unorthodox method has allowed me to expand on my characters in ways that were not expected. One character who was originally planned to be a very minor became a very important part of the story in the entire series. This would not have happened if I wrote in a traditional way.

The methods that I use are definitely not for everyone. They work for me. If you have an idea that you are passionate about, and the thought of sitting down and trying to write the conventional method is daunting, then try the unconventional. Everyone is different. What works for one person, will not work for another. Sometimes the unconventional way is best for the unconventional writer.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share a guest blog post, please visit our Blog Guidelines Page.


Journal Your Favorite Quotations

The following are the words of  Betty Elza, Archway Publishing author of  “Tara’s Treasures.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

What to Write in Your Journal?

Writing tips and writing rules are good reading material for all authors. Authors helping authors. One rule I would suggest is to journal some of your favorite quotations. Every time you read something that “speaks to you” in some way, that you really like, write it in your journal.

The quotations may come from any form of writing from newspapers to children’s books. What you read is important and often becomes a part of you or at least reflects something about you. Continue reading


The Anatomy of a Scene

The following are the words of  Charles C. Carroll, Archway Publishing author of  Peacekeepers Among Us.” Learn more about Charles on his author website,  Facebook page, and Twitter account. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Developing a Scene

One approach to writing your novel is to construct it scene by scene guided by your overall plot. Writing craft resources describe the various components of a well-developed scene. The components generally discussed are the role of the protagonist actions, point of view, scene and plot relationship. In addition to conflict and tension, timeline and physical setting, imagery, and the balance between narration and dialogue.

Creating Your Skeleton

Developing a Scene

For the emerging writer, the challenge becomes how to put these components together in a fashion that will produce a memorable scene. You still want to make sure it serves your plot while developing your characters and advancing the story. In thinking about how to do this, the word “anatomy” came to mind and led me think of a skeleton. I thought, maybe, a scene is like a skeleton to which we must add “meat.” Thus, my “skeleton approach” to scene development. In this approach, rather than use all 206 bones in the adult human, only gross anatomy, the head, arms, torso, and feet are used. This approach works when you realize that each scene is a mini-story itself. Now let’s explore how this approach can be applied.

Continue reading


Building Blocks for Writing

The following are the words of  Ralph Mosgrove, Archway Publishing author of  “Saying Thanks and Beyond.” Learn more about Ralph on his author Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

Drawing Inspiration

 1. Examine a life-changing experience in life and formulate thoughts on paper. Starting with Title, Sub-Title and an outline. For me it was my wife, Elsie who provided the impetus for this book. Her disabling fall, in 2008, breaking her hip and back changed our lives dramatically.

 2. After her death in 2015 I began thinking about our conversations concerning people who offered themselves by opening doors for her as she approached with her four-wheel walker. This act of kindness, repeated over and over, caused us to say, what more can you say beyond “Thank You” to these considerate, compassionate people. Continue reading


Making Sense of Our Senses – Sight and Sound

The majority of people connect most strongly with visual stimuli. As a self-publishing writer though, it is our job to make sure we cater to all our readers’ senses to fully immerse them in the world we are creating for them on the page. But how to best do that?

It’s All in the Details

During your pre-writing phase, consider your five main senses and then decide which ones will best help you set each scene. Try and think of at least one detail for each of the five senses—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste—that will best place your reader in the story. Then write the scene, including as many specific details as possible. You may decide you don’t need all those details when you edit your work later on, but it’s always better to have too much than too little to start with. Continue reading


Using Research to Craft a Better Book

Research is a must for self-published authors because it shows that you are informed and knowledgeable on a topic, and it gives you instant credibility with potential readers. Don’t think that research is only necessary for nonfiction authors; fiction writers can benefit from doing their homework, too!Magnifying glass

The good news is that when you are writing about a subject that you’re passionate about, researching can be fun and rewarding. Today we present a six-step guide to getting that research done!

1. Read

It’s a cliché that good readers make good writers, but it’s a cliché for a reason. Immersing yourself in your topic (or genre) will inspire you to write your own book. Plus, surveying what books are out there can help you write a book that fills (not falls into) the gaps in the marketplace. Continue reading


Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule

Rumor has it J.K. Rowling worked for five years, building the world of Harry Potter and plotting all seven books before she began writing anything. Jack Kerouac reportedly wrote the draft of On the Road in less than a month. How long will it take you to write or finish your book?

The right answer is up to you.

The one thing you will absolutely need is some kind of plan. It doesn’t matter whether your writing plan is a month long or a year long. The time is less important than the plan.

In the post-Four Ways to Manage Your Writing Schedule, Archway Publishing offers 4 easy tips you can use to help you keep to your writing plan, whatever it is.

Click here to

Author Feature

Q&A with Moustafa El-Guindy, Author of “Beyond Love”

This blog is by Archway authors for fellow authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Dr Moustafa El-Guindy , author of “Beyond Love“. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

  1. What inspired you to write your book?

Many facts and many people inspired the story and it wasn’t all at the same time and they weren’t all linked with each other. Things happen or you meet people and the writer stores it in his memory, then the creativity join the facts, creates others, recovers the characters, crafts others and builds the story that will take you to new places, some of them are happy, others are devastatingly sad, but all of them stretch their bounds in our dreams and fantasies. That was the story with Beyond Love.

  1. You have published books in multiple languages and in a variety of genres, tell what prompted you to write this book.

9781480822832_COVER.inddMy passion always had been writing, romances, short stories, poems, my real passion is writing, but I can’t deny that I love to write long and very emotional stories of love. The romance that gains its strength from its bounds with the reality, then grows with the imagination navigating in a new world build by our creativity and inventiveness, just like a tree its roots go deep in the soil and its branches go everywhere in the sky.

  1. What do you hope readers will get from reading the book?

I wish the reader learns that the great meaning of life is loving. Loving is the bird flying, the music playing and the little child smiling. Love is the river cutting its way through the rocks, the drop of the water touching the sky and coming back to the earth. Love is the dream of living, the pleasure of giving, and the happiness to be able to do that. Love is the hands extending, the smile shining, and the deep desire to have the lover in the heart forever.

  1. Why did you chose to self-publish and why with Archway?

I searched many companies, I was looking for quality. The effort and hard work employed in the production of the manuscript deserve a qualified publisher to produce the book, of course with an affordable price. That is why Archway Publishing.

  1. What has been the most satisfying thing about publishing a book?

Two moments are very special for me. First, when I received the first copy in  my hand. It was like listening to the first scream of  a newborn. The second moment was when someone approached and asked me something about the book. The moment when I felt that somebody shared the same feeling and my passion.

  1. What tips would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing, be persistent, go forward, don’t be intimidated by rebuffs or rejections. Keep writing, and publish, don’t keep your writing for yourself. Writing is only alive when you share with others, so the great tips are keep writing and publish.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.