In writing workshops I’m told that I must paint a picture with words so the reader can hear, touch, taste, or smell what my characters experience. I can’t say my protagonist drank week or strong, hot or cold, coffee. My keyboard paintbrush is permitted to stray and use an occasional word like robust or bold, but even then I must wrap the main character’s hands around the hefty mug, let the steam rise, and watch him sip the brew that’s too hot to gulp.
I shouldn’t say my private investigator stopped and smelled the roses outside a window where she’s hiding, crouched in a garden. I have to turn her head so her eyes see the rosebush and find a way to make the fragrance waft her direction without sneezes that give away her presence. Quite a task for me while tightening the tension and moving the story forward. Smells are why I’m giving this shout out (synonymous with tooting my own horn).
I won a blog contest challenge to describe my favorite or least-favorite smell. I told it like it was, or as I remembered it from long ago. The prize for my blurb is a copy of Pilz, J. K. Royce’s fictional mystery about unscrupulous physicians who profit from illegal prescriptions.
Here’s my winning entry. What do you see, hear or smell?
New smells assaulted my nostrils when I, the wife of a former sailor, first moved to Monroe, Louisiana. Odors from a brown bag factory floated across the Ouachita (Wash-e-taw) River and permeated our non-airconditioned home. Yellowish-grey spots stuck to my white sheets on the backyard clothesline. I complained about the fetid odor to my neighbor who was employed there. He said, “It smells like bacon and eggs to me.”
Read Julie’s blog here: My Write Place