Monday, July 23, 2012

Build it Right Series: Layer the Finishing Details by Dora Hiers

Layer the Finishing Details: Sensory Details
Build it Right series
by Dora Hiers

How sweet are your words to my taste, 
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103 NIV)

The mason lathers mortar on the last brick and slaps it in place. Your eyes widen. Your heart beats a frantic rhythm. A smile lights up your face. “Wow! Hello house!” 

You’re excited because you know the end is near. But the house isn’t done yet. Other things need to happen on the inside before you can move in. Final tasks like painting, installing cabinets and appliances.

The same goes for our writing. We’ve cemented our foundation and joined cohesive elements, but for our story to light up our readers, we must add some finishing touches.

Layer sensory details.

Think back to the last time you received new prescription lenses. How much clearer, more sharp or vivid, was your vision after putting on the new lenses? Sprinkling sensory details makes our writing crisp, brings it into focus, and makes the story literally dance off the page. 

Let’s have some fun.

How many sensory details can you find in this excerpt from Journey’s Edge?

Her face plowed into an expansive, muscular chest. Strong hands grabbed McKinley’s upper arms. A vague, familiar smell permeated the man’s torso, a citrus and woodsy scent mingled with masculine deodorant. She heard the door close behind her and felt legs wimp out on her. Good thing this guy held her up or she would have sank straight to the floor like a pile of spaghetti. She angled a hand to eject chest hair from her tongue, trying not to make a face.

“Honey, if you’re looking for that kind of action, you’ve got the wrong room.”

Now you try it. In one or two paragraphs, write the following scene with as many sensory details as you can fit in.

After crying herself to sleep, the next morning Delaney follows the scent of coffee and stumbles into her tiny kitchen, frightened to find a man making chocolate chip pancakes. She didn’t know that Sage, a friend she’s secretly been in love with forever, spent the night on the couch. 

Give it a shot. You know you want to try…

Have you added finishing details to make your story shine? 

Join us next week as we celebrate success, hold a Housewarming Party, and consider our next project.

Journey's Edge:

A Routine Audit? Hardly. Red flags-including some goon who's following her-raise McKinley Frasier's suspicions that numbers don't add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley's daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman-the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner's not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a "new man." She trusts the new Renner with her daughter's safety...but what about her heart?  

(print)                 (e-book)

After a successful auditing career, Dora Hiers left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son didn’t want her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing heart racing, God-gracing books. Dora belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Carolina Christian Writers. Her first inspirational romance, Journey’s End, released with White Rose Publishing in 2011, and her second, Journey’s Edge released in March 2012. White Rose also contracted her third book in the Marshals of Journey Creek series, Journey’s Embrace, and her first short romance, Small Town Treasure. Dora and her husband make their home in Kannapolis, North Carolina. 

Connect with Dora:

Facebook: Dora Hiers Author
Twitter: @DoraHiers


  1. Good morning! Waving "hi" to everybody from our college-aged son's dorm, where we're helping him move from dorm to apartment for his senior year. How exciting! Not the move, but the senior year. :-)

    Wow! Can you believe July is almost over? This summer has been a blur.

    It's great to be back on Seriously Write! Thanks
    so much for your gracious hospitality this month, ladies!

  2. I totally agree, Dora. It has been a blur. Congratulations to your son. It's a pleasure having you here with your insightful series. Thanks again for visiting!

    1. Thank you, Annette.

      When the stack of Christmas novellas to edit hit your laptop, did you have to light a pine candle and play some holiday tunes to get yourself in the spirit of Christmas? Is it tough to pull yourself back to +90 degree temps? Just curious...

      Our car gauge reached 97 degrees on the way home today. Longing for cooler temps!

    2. It is strange reading Christmas stories in the middle of summer, Dora. Thankfully we get a mix of cooler temps with higher ones. It's only mid-60s today. :)


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