Friday, 7 September 2012

Using The Five Senses To Inspire Your Writing - Lynne Garner


A few months ago I was asked to create a new course for WOW (Women On Writing) as a follow on for my beginners course 'How To Write A Picture Book And Get Published.' It was decided we'd set a challenge for our students, to write five books in five weeks basing each one on one of the five senses.

In order to help support the students I started researching the five senses. Also as part of that research I asked my writing friends how they'd used the five senses in their stories. These are just a couple of the replies I received:   

A story inspired by sight: 

Written by Pippa Goodhart and illustrated by Andy Rowlands.

The story as described by the author:

"Little Nelly's Big Book plays on the lack of any pictures in her big book. Little Nelly is an elephant, but the description in her book of a mouse being grey, having big ears, and having a skinny tail, leads her to the conclusion that she is a mouse. So she tries to make herself at home with a family of mice. When her friend Micky, who really is a mouse, reads the description of an elephant (exactly the same attributes as the other one) he concludes that he's an elephant, but they decide they can still be friends, even though they are different.

Quote kindly supplied by Pippa Goodhart (visit Pippa's website).

A story inspired by sound:

Written by Jane Clarke and illustrated by Chrystyan Fox.

The inspiration behind the story as described by the author:  

"Creaky Castle was inspired by a childhood sleepover in a creaky old house. My friend and I stayed up all night, terrifying each other by suggesting what the noises we heard in the house could be. The text began with ideas for lots of spooky noises, and what could be making them, and developed from there into a funny rhyming picture book."

Quote kindly supplied by author Jane Clarke (visit Jane's Website)

A story inspired by smell:

Written by me and illustrated by Mike Brownlow

This story was inspired by the many dogs I've shared my life with, the occasional smell the create, mixed with the words our family will utter when this happens, "Sorry, the dog did it!"

So next time you're stuck for an idea why not use touch, taste, smell, sound and sight to inspire you. You never know where it'll lead you.

P.S.
If you're a writer and have a book inspired by the five senses I'd love to hear about it. And with your permission I'd include in the reading list of my course.

Lynne Garner

Unashamed plug for my distance learning writing eCourses that start 6th October 2012
How To Write A Picture Book (six week course)

7 comments:

  1. This is a great idea for approaching the writing of a picture book, Lynne. I am sure that your course is going to inspire.

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    1. Many thanks - I must admit writing the course notes did inspire me with a new story that I'm trying to find a home for now.

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  2. I am an aspiring illustrator and reading this post has totally inspired me. A story based on the senses is a great idea and has started me thinking about so many new ideas. Thank you so much!

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    1. So pleased it has helped. Would love to see the results.

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  3. Oh, so that's why you were asking! Great idea for a picture book course, Lynne - sure it will be a great success. Thanks for adding Creaky Castle to the list :-)

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  4. Hmmm... off to brainstorm a smelly story for my next picture book project! Thanks for this inspiring post.

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  5. Really great idea for inspiring writing and topics.

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