Thursday, March 30, 2023

Welcome to Author Julie Lence: Writing the Five Senses

Writing the Five Senses 


See. Smell. Hear. Taste. Touch. We all know the five senses, experience them in our everyday lives. But do you have them layered throughout your story? If so, do you have too many? Not enough? And did you know that one sense can trigger another?
   Imagine walking into the grocery store and the first thing you notice is the aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. What happens next? Your mouth begins to water in anticipation of warm, gooey chocolate melting on your tongue. Your fingers can feel the texture of the cookie, the stickiness of the chocolate. 
   What about when you look at a painting? I have one depicting three Native Americans riding their ponies through the snow-packed woods. When I look at them, I can hear the quiet plodding of their horses hooves, feel the dampness of a bleak day and taste the cold on my lips.
   When writing, the five senses are all necessary to the story. Readers want to relate to characters. Through description, they want to see what the characters see, hear what the characters hear. More importantly, they want to be smack-dab in the middle of the action. They want their hearts to melt at a tender moment and their stomach to clench when danger rears. Most importantly, they want the feel-good emotion of a happy ending to linger long after they’ve read the last words.
   Sight is perhaps the easiest to put into words; bright blue eyes, hair the color of straw, over-sized furniture crowded into a dark room. Smell is also easy; chicken roasting in the oven, digging holes in fresh dirt, riding through a cow pasture. Each of these allows your reader to see what your character sees and get a whiff of his/her surroundings. And when you add sounds―the shrill whistle of a train, the whiny of a horse, the murmur of voices inside a dimly lit saloon―the reader is even more immersed in the scene.
   Taste and touch are even better ways for a reader to relate to characters. I wrote a scene where the hero uncovers a plate of ham and grimaces. With those few words, it's clear he can't stomach the taste of ham. How about something he does like? His mouth watered at the aroma of apple pie wafting through the eatery. And what about things he touches? Soft hair, the coarse fibers of a rope, the prickly husk of a pineapple; the right adjective is sure to conjure a response in the reader's mind, maybe even in her fingertips.
   There is another aspect to touch―what a character feels inwardly.  Whether relating to ‘matters of the heart’ or a shock to the system, it’s always best to show what the character feels rather than to tell it. Putting a word or a group of words in italics emphasizes emotion and internal thought, to include disbelief, sarcasm, surprise and fear. Using body language allows the reader to experience firsthand what the character is experiencing―a flutter in her heart, coldness pricking her spine, knees wobbling―and allows for a better connection to the character and the story.    

As you hone your skills, you'll find you can use one or two sentences to invoke a variety of senses. Ex: Jack walked into the crowded restaurant. His stomach grumbled at the delicious aroma of pumpkin pie wafting from the kitchen… and his heart skidded to a stop when his gaze settled on a familiar face seated at the back table. Or, beneath a hot sun, Jack crested the hill and reined in his mustang, dragged a gloved hand across his brow and stared long and hard at the neat farm house below. A woman stepped onto the porch and his pulse began to pound. Tall, with long, ebony hair curling around her waist, the last time their paths had crossed, she’d run him off her land from behind the barrel of a shotgun.
   Be creative when layering the senses, but don't use the same descriptions throughout the story. And don't over-burden the reader with description. Good narrative and a few well-placed words and she’ll feel as though she’s right in the middle of the action.


One of my works where the 5 senses really come into play is Debra’s Bandit. Debra is a female bandit who is now operating the mercantile in Revolving Point. As customers step inside the store, they first thing they notice is the aroma of fresh baked cookies, arousing your sense of smell and the taste of them on your tongue. Voices of other customer and the items lining the shelves or hanging on the walls tug at your hearing and sight, and last, feel comes into play when you move further into the store and run your fingertips over a bolt of cloth, or a hat, or a gunbelt.

You can immerse yourself in the mercantile by grabbing a copy of Debra’s Bandit here:

You can also view my other works at my website:

Thank you for spending time with me today. Happy Reading!



Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Writing Women

Writing women when we are women....huh. I will tell you about me and my writing. First of all you all already know that I write my stories about the men I want to fall in love with so as I write I don't give much thought to the heroine until my editor tells me to give more description to the girl. Huh...what girl? Oh yeah, will do. 

Well it's not that bad but I will tell you if I pick up a book and start reading and the heroine is one of those helpless in every situations.....uh...I just put the book down. 


Here are some hints. 

Make uour female heroines strong. But don't forget a flaw of some kind which makes them human. 

Be careful of making your heroine hold top much in a feminist personality. Going overboard can be a turn off for male and female readers. It's OK to do so if it is a big reflection of the story's plot but otherwise you can write a strong heroine without burning bras. 

Give her opinions....stating opinions can give hint to her beliefs and maybe even the things she has been through. 

Give her flaws...if she is too perfect she won't be q believable character. 

Give her female companions so she csn support them and vent about her own issues. 

Given her's sexy. It's a good draw for the male in the story. 

She should be straight forward in all things.

Honest and Loyal to a point is a great story maker but maybe in the story she finds the truth and loyal no longer applies. 

Assertive but not so overbearing she makes the hero look like a wimp. 

Optimistic in spite of all she may go through in your story. 

Actions should speak with her don't tell who she is. 

Infective positive energy should flow from her without her even knowing.

Admits mistakes and learns from them right there in your story. 

Not a victim even though she may be injured and on the run. Not matter what she has been thru in the past she shouldn't whine about any of it. 

Lifts other up while barely able to keep her own ducks in a row. 

Seeks respect not attention....this can go a long way in a story. 

I hope this helps put a few ideas in your head. Think about the heroines in movies you have loved. They may have been vulnerable at times but never let themselves or others down. 

Now...go write your girl!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Time to Write Week 13

OK. So not to bore you here. This week will be finishing chapter 13 and tidying up chapters 11 thru 13. Final stretch on those three!

Goal is writing faster so you can get more done in your daily hour! YOU CAN DO IT. 

Time to spend a little time back on your planning book. Just on chapters 11 through 13....and jotting down things to add, change or possibly delete. 

Are you starting to work out idea of how you will bring in the next three chapters, 14 15 16? It's time to start putting this ideas down for the next three weeks coming. Again you can work chapter 14 all week or work hard to complete all three 14, 15, 16. Work on fast writing that you can fluff and make better later. Right now hiney and chair and no looking back while you spend 3 weeks completing these three chapters. 

You should be use to the process now. Your family should be use to it as well. Maybe you can bribe the kids with Pizza for an extra hour or two. Maybe you can talk your husband into some chores. 

And ya know now and then I take a vacation day at work so I csn have a day home without husband and kids to spend on writing. But I prepare for it. I wash all the clothes and do all the dishes and other chores. In.prepare.something in the supper is done when they all get home and I continue binge writing as I call it.

And I also plan for holidays time to Write. Why not? I mean sure prep for the holiday but sometimes you get more days off. Pick one full day as a writing day. 

And do you have a vacation coming up....have laptop will travel. I write on every vacation...yes even at the beach. I sat outside and work my story poolside until the sun runs me into the water. And at night in our room at the beach I usually find time to Write. 

Kids have activities....write on the road. I have a mini laptop and a car charger. I also write scenes on my phone. Email those scenes to myself and copy them into my work in progress when I get back to my laptop. 

Onward for the coming week then! Finish up anything you need to in chapter 13 and head to 14, 15 and 16. 

Look for hints on Facebook! Author Kim Turner...come hang out and share how you do things. And get hints on how to do them better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Writing Men

Writing the male point of view when your are a woman author can be challenging. All my stories are the male hero's story. I have only written the Males POV and along the way I have learned a few things. 

Don't give men a lot of words like in women's dialogue. Some men talk but not as much most of the time like women. Give them fewer words that say as much. 

A word on height. We all want to make our heroes big and buff. Afterall they must save the damsel in distress right? But here are a couple I have run across. If you're hero is 6'5 and heavily muscular....he is not riding the bulls in the rodeo. The men who do that are only about 135 pounds and shorter. You're beefcake hero won't last on that eight second ride. Secondly, those very tall men often do not fit in regular size beds...their feet hang off for starters. So height is something to consider. 

Men have emotions too so don't forget that. Not all men are made of steel. They break down and cry too...I added a scene like that in my Wyatt's Bounty and had several comments from readers that they cried too. Give your handsome hero a meltdown. Big impact on story.

Men do not think like women. They may be more quick to respond and consise to answer with little thought. They also aren't apt to run paragraphs of thought through their heads on making decisions. Give them a thought or two and then an action. Men often to not hang with pals to discuss their social life. Others may run in packs but for nothing more than hanging out. 

Guys just bond. I once heard a comedian say if you have a group of ladies hanging out in a bar and a real hot woman walks in that the first whisper heard is "bitch". Yet if a group of guys are hanging in a bar and a real beefcake guy comes walking it they'll be like "yo, Magnum." If find that hysterically funny and so true. 

Not all men lash out when they are hurt. Some hide it or internalize it. And those moments are great emotional times for writing character thought etc. 

And for goodness sake give that hero of yours a flaw. It ads color and fun to a story. One of my cowboys hates snakes. Another doesn't like to be dirty and always wants a clean shirt. One drinks too much. Another holds grudges. 

Try not to stereotype men to the romance hero of your heart. Write them so readers fall in love with the character based on who they are. 

Men are doers. Not talkers. They don't read instructions or ask for directions. They do not like to wait...on anything. Most like to be in charge but that may be a stereotype. So let them think they are in charge. They are more visual than women. They do not ask for advice often and do not admit when they are wrong. They do not respond to commands from those they do not perceive as superior. And they don't mask their thoughts. They say what they think and mean what they say. Men offer solutions not small talk. So don't ask if you don't want to know. Small talk and men....not good writing. Men rarely show deep emotions except for anger. 

So write your men accordingly but give them the freedom to be human and have flaws.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Time to Write Week 12

Which did you on chapter 11 or complete thru chapter 13? Either way I hope you made progress. And if you are not to chapter 11 do not give up...all progress is good progress. are doing it. It's happening!!!

So focus on the same 3 chapters this week. Chapters 11 through 13. But it's chapter 12 week of writing. Take a look at your outline....are you hanging in there with it? Is it working? If not you need to figure out why. So take a look again at the story arch. You are over halfway so things should be crazy for your hero and heroine. The big obstacles in the way should be in full force. So go back and read what you have for ch. 11. NO EDITING. Let it propell you forward to begin and complete chapter 12 this week. Focus on one chapter flowing into the next and upping the stakes in the story. The reader should be turning the pages faster and faster. ANd you should be writing fast. Try and see if you can finish chapter 12 and 13 this week. Gotta finish the book. YOU SHOULD BE WRITING FAST AND FASTER. SO PUSH FROM CHAPTER 11 THRU CHAPTER 13....though 12 is the focus. And hang out to see what we can all share about our adventure to Finish the Book! Facebook Author Kim Turner Lots of hints and and helps found there.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Writing Villians...

The antagonist in a story is the one who creates external conflict for the main character. The villian is the one who tosses the hero off the journey he or she was on. This bad guy or gal stops or halts progress but it doesn't always have to be an evil person or an age murderer. 

Some villians simply have the same goal at the hero. Some can cause major havoc for a hero without being evil while others are the evil in the story. 

Villians need to be believable characters...not ones without flaws but certainly not perfect. Villians are human too but maybe the flaws they have are worse. Or add an unusual flaw for her bad guy or gal. 

Villians in stories are often good when readers can measure their own actions against them. We are all human  and as we read we may find we have thoughts similar to a villian or not. But the idea is write a realistic enough Villian that readers cannot put the book down. 

Just like for your hero and heroine, you also need to define your Villians goals, motivations, and their own conflicts. Who are they, what do that want, why do they want it and what is stopping them?

You need to know the deep seated reasons for your villians internal and external conflict. What the bad guys back story and why is he like he is. What makes your villian different from all the rest?

Some houses only want the hero and heroines point of view in a story. Villians may not be allowed a POV anywhere in the story but it may depend on the Genre. So read up about that...what houses want and what they allow. 

Think about how to show your Villain in the story

• How do the Villian and hero know each other? When do they meet in your story?

• Does the Villian spy on your hero or visa versa?

• Hoe does your hero deal with the villian or what the Villian does?

• Do the hero and villian surprise each other at any point in the story?

• Does what the Villian does shatter your heros plans? How?

• How does others in the story view the Villian?

• How does the hero react when things don't go well for the Villian and visa versa?

• Will the hero and villian duel it out for one winner? How?

• Do the hero and villian know each others pasts?

There are many angles to look at on what your hero and heroine do or say related to encountering the Villian or what thr Villian has done. Turn your story all angles so that you get the best effect out of your bad guy.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Time to Write Week 11

So how did your week of planning and writing chapter 11 go? I hope you got a good solid chapter 10 all done and that review of your outline things are flowing you right into what you did to Chapter 11. I also hope you were able to speed things up and focus.

If we keep planning that 20 chapter novel then you are half way done....TO FINISHING THAT BOOK. It should feel more than real now. And while half way still means a lot of work to go pat yourself on the back if you have been able to keep up. And if you have not kept up to chapter 11 don't lose heart. Pat yourself on the back that you are making progress at your own pace...AND THAT IS JUST FINE. Any progress counts and is worth the time spent. So this month of March we want to now start working on chapter 11, 12, and 13. Three more chapters in the next 3 weeks. SO no looking back at chapters 1 through 10--use our notebook to add things you need to work on to your outline, but don't go back now to fix things. There is no time. So for the rest of this month you need to complete through Chapter 14. SOme of you may like doing one chapter at a time and if so this week is chapter 11 again. SOmetimes that saggy middle needs more time. Where are you in your story. Where does it need to go in the next three chapters? And yes focus on all three chapters 11, 12, and 13 in writing as much as you can on your hour each day. What about starting on ch. 11 and no looking back for anything until 13 is done. Use your hour a night for what I call writing sprints. Set a timer and keep distractions to a minimum. Push through and let the characters lead you rapidly through what is happening. Move fast through the story to get the main ideas flowing. You can fluff later. Right now shoot for a basic rough draft of chapters 11, 12, and 13.  Three weeks is 21 days! If you push to get those done in rough draft in week 1, then you can spend 2 weeks tweaking through to make sure things flow and what is needed is there. And if you choose do the same one chapter a week which is chapter 11 this week. Ya know once I have written and keep writing as I have with this blog, it feels like a part of the day that is routine. I just do it. Of course days come that go crazy and there might be one night you didn't get to have an hour to write. So make sure to write extra another day and let your family know! Ha....If you don't make the time to Write no one else is gonna allow it for you. So now you have the plans for chapter 11. Get to it. Focus and clear your mind and write. Tell us how things are going for you. What is a big help? What hinders you most. A big help for me is a husband who cooks and does laundry and a lot of other things so that I can write. He washes the vehicles and cuts the yard and helps rhe girls so I can find my writing time. Hindrances for me are the day job and being tired after work. Sometimes the fatigue wipes me out so I put on that pit of coffee which at times helps me write. I push that hour and work even if on a single scene to get in my hour. Then I hit the hay. Yall we are doing this...we are gonna finish this book!!!! And pay attention Author Kim Turner on Facebook.