Top Menu


November 12 Activity: Use Sense Details in Your Memoir

Use Sense Details—They Bring Us Into the Story

The difference between a memoir and a personal essay has largely to do with how each affects us differently. A memoir is one heart speaking to another while a personal essay is one mind speaking to another.

A memoir engages our sympathy and our feelings while a personal essay addresses our minds. In view of this, the memoir does well to bring us into the scene of the story and make us feel we are there.

A great device to give the reader the sense of being in the story and having it feel as if it is unfolding in front of us is to use sense details. These engage our responses.

The five sense details are:

  • Sight
  • Sound
  • Hearing
  • Taste
  • Touch

Action Steps

  1. On a list, record as many ways as you can come up with with how your senses were engaged in the story you are writing about.
  2. Write three-to-five pages of a lifestory for your memoir. Use as many details derived from the five senses as you can. Even if the story sounds a bit stilted, the exercise will make you aware of sense details and improve your writing.



Reach a Larger Audience

best ebook productionA digital book is easy and inexpensive to produce and it is even easier to distribute. Is your book available in digital format? If not, call us today at (207) 353-5454 or to learn how we can produce an ebook for you. Quick and not costly.

For the best ebook publication, click here.

, , ,

No comments yet.
A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Digest newsletter.
  • If you are already a member, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.

I want Memoir Writing 101.