3 Adding Sensory Language & Dialogue

Be sure to ground the event so that readers can picture what happened. If you experience a significant event but only explain “how x made me feel,” you have missed an opportunity to tell the story.

Why is detail important? When writers use vivid and sensory detail to share a narrative, they help the reader connect to their story in meaningful ways. Some of the best narratives attend to most or all of our five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell). If a writer wants to convey to their readers their personal connection to a cherished family recipe, then they might describe in sensory detail what the freshly baked bread looks like, the sounds of their grandmother’s clamoring in the kitchen to prepare the bread, how the warm bread melts in your mouth at the first bite, how the bread springs back slowly when you press down on it, or the aroma that overtakes your house on a Sunday afternoon when the bread is finished baking. Most readers can relate to some or all of these details through various life experiences, which will help to pull them into the journey that the narrative takes.

Another way to add detail and authenticity is by adding dialogue. Remember, dialogue needs its own paragraph, and each new speaker begins a new paragraph.:


Why does this genre matter? The reason we use narrative is because storytelling is the most natural way for us humans to communicate. Humans relate to each other through stories and therefore find stories incredibly interesting and persuasive. This genre matters because you will be asked to tell stories of your own experiences at work, in your life, and in learning situations. Narratives help us relate to one another and provide a way to understand our differences. The use of descriptive language, sensory details, and well-placed dialogue will help your writing come alive for your readers.




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Music in Your Words Copyright © 2023 by Amy Minervini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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