I went to a wedding recently set in the vineyards of the Hunter Valley. It was a hot afternoon and towards the end of the evening I wandered down to a row of grapevines and looked up to see a black sky full of endless glittering stars. Only in the country can you see the night sky at its majestic best. After a few minutes I noticed something else – the slow steady chorus of sound welling up around me until all I could hear was the throaty croak of frog music from the nearby dam.
I realised then just how important sound is in conveying a sense of place when writing. It’s just as important as the visual picture we draw with words in a scene. That night made me think about all the five senses we have to work with when writing – to see, hear, smell, touch and taste.
I’ve added five more to make the magic ten – to think, speak, laugh, feel and love.