The aroma of lemons assaults my senses as I force our window open. Outside, the leaves of our lemon tree are an assortment of brilliant greens as sunlight caresses some and shadows dance on others. I settle upon my window seat, my laptop cushioned in my lap, and face our tiny waterfall. The fairy on top smiles as she pours liquid into a pool of crystal blue water, and the sound of it falling soothes my tense nerves. I turn at last to my quiet screen and allow my fingers to hover just above the keys waiting for inspiration to strike.
Senses fill our lives and sometimes overwhelm us as we go through our days, and yet, sometimes I create moments for my characters where they see but don’t hear or smell but don’t taste. I create these unfortunate scenes more often than I’d like to admit, but I also have to wonder if a reader can be assaulted by senses just as we are in our everyday lives. Or, if scenes should be viewed like the rules of dialogue, “it’s life, but with the boring parts taken out.” Therefore, do our readers always want to know what rotten stew smells and tastes like, or would they prefer not to know at all? And is there a difference between creating something where the reader is led through every sense, or where we have given them just enough for their imagination to fill in the blanks?