Very punny, no? :D
We all know that writing with all our senses is very important. No matter what your genre is. It's easier when we're writing about something familiar though. Right? If you live near the ocean for example, you probably know about that saltwater smell, the wind blowing off the water, the feel of the sand between your toes.
But what if you're writing about a desert planet in another star system? Or the jungles of a whole other world? How do you know what it feels, smells, sounds like? Because let's face it, you have to be specific. You have to know your world - even if it's one that exists only in your head.
But everyone can benefit from this exercise. Suppose you live by the ocean, but you're writing about the desert? And you just can't afford a trip to Arizona for research? So stretch your writing muscles, and give this a shot:
You're writing a story about the lost city of Atlantis. And NO I don't care if you never write fantasy - I said stretch here people!! Ahem. Now what is Atlantis like? Who lives there? Pretend you are one of the citizens and answer the following questions:
1. What does it look like? Is there plant life? What building materials do your people use? What's the lighting like?
2. What does it sound like? Is everything altered because it's underwater? Or is it somewhere else, and there is no sound? Is it quiet, or noisy? If it's noisy, what's making it that way?
3. What does it feel like? What's the ground made of? Clothes? Again - is there water all around or air?
4. What does it smell like? Is the air stale? What kind of food is plentiful? How do those plants smell if that's what's there?
5. What does it taste like? Is it underwater and you taste the salt? What's your favorite or least favorite food?
Okay now here comes the trickiest part. Ready? Now decide what your mood is, and go back and answer these questions. How do the answers reflect your character's perspective? Ahhh, now we've got something more than just description. We have something that weaves together to create an unforgettable scene.
It's like magic. A great tool for all writers no matter the genre. So don't forget to use your senses.