Taste May be the Hardest of the Five Senses to Describe
As writers our job is to transport our readers into our story. One of the simplest ways to do this is to include our character’s five senses. If you are a writer, you know that is easier said than done.
We know that vivid sensory details engage our readers emotionally and helps the reader to become part of our character’s experience.
Would you agree this is important? The question is: How do we do this?
The five senses include sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. John and I found taste to be the most difficult to write. We found ourselves avoiding writing about flavors because we couldn’t find the right words. Have you ever had that problem?
Because taste was so challenging, we created a list to stimulate our thinking. And guess what: it worked. Try it for yourself.
Five Helpful Tricks For including Taste in Your Writing
Have you ever read a description of food so vivid you actually tasted it? That is what we strive for. Here are five tips to help you achieve that goal.
#1 Sometimes the easiest way to describe a taste is through something else that has a similar flavor or feel. Therefore, consider using similes or metaphors.
The steak was tough as leather.
The black coffee tasted like morning
The punch tasted like mouthwash
#2 Flavors especially evokes powerful memories and nostalgia in your reader. Flavors are a gateway to your readers past. We all love food. Eating usually brings us pleasure. Therefore, including flavors will strongly impact your readers.
A touch of cinnamon in the hot chocolate with lots of
marshmallows was a real treat.
A Smokey BBQ brisket slathered in fiery hot sauce tasted like home.
The fresh doughnut filled with Boston cream and covered in chocolate icing melted in her mouth.
#3 Combining other senses will more fully immerse your reader into your story. Combining several senses like (taste and smell) or (taste and texture) will create a more vibrant description.
The lemon meringue pie oozed onto my taste buds.
The wine had a sweat bouquet and a fruity taste.
The ginger and curry assaulted my nose before the spices hit my mouth with a burst of flavor.
The fried chicken crunched as I bit into it, the juices dripping happily into my mouth.
#4 A characters reaction to a flavor can add to the description. The descriptive images you include in your writing should help your reader get to know your characters.
He chugged the beer straight from the bottle.
She savored one piece then another with eyes closed.
He had the pained expression of a man who accidentally swallowed something rotten.
#5 We tend to think of taste as involving food or drink. However, other things can imply taste.
The taste of salt in the air near the ocean.
The argument left a bitter taste in his mouth.
His mouth filled with the coppery taste of blood.
Flavors Adds a Unique Value to your Reader’s Experience
By stimulating your readers sense of flavor you immerse them into your story. This allows your readers to gain a stronger connection to your characters.
Select details which will be meaningful to your characters and your story. We know including flavors in our writing is difficult. However we have found a way to simplify the process. We hope you will try it.
Here are some other websites you might want to check out:
Don’t forget to Download our list of 493 Ways to Describe Taste to help you find the right words.
John & Patty @writingagreatbook.com 2022