Using the senses can add emotional depth to romance writing. Most writers include sight in description. Unfortunately, they often forget the other senses can greatly enhanced story depth, emotion and tone. I know many writers speak of several more senses, but I’m focusing on the five senses here. By using all of the senses—hear, see, smell, taste, and, touch—throughout the story, we draw the reader in so she experiences the characters’ emotions which connects her to the story you are telling. Without emotion, stories are unexciting, lifeless and leave the reader cold. This will surely result in rejection since your first real reader will probably be the editor for the publisher you wish to contract your story.
Say it with me: emotion is the spark that lights the firewood of your story and draws the reader in. And strong emotions/feelings capture the reader’s attention and keeps her hooked because it adds reality to your story. Emotion is by no means all you need to keep your reader hooked, but this is what we’re speaking about at the moment, so I’ll stay on topic.
If you can weave good human emotions into your fiction, you will form connections with the reader and she'll invest her heart in your story. We all experience emotion, even the hard, ruthless alpha hero who has been hurt so badly he thinks he’s buried his emotions so deep he no longer has any.
I don't mind telling you I'm an extremely emotional person. In fact, I’ll freely admit I live on my emotions. I laugh at things most people find not very funny (if someone fall over, I might very well wet myself! There’s just something about taking a spill that tickles me hugely) and I cry at things as simply as the beauty of nature.
Emotions affect all of us in many ways, both psychologically and physiologically. We couldn’t function without emotions, so why do we think our characters can? They must have moods as we do—personalities and temperaments. They must have feelings about the things they see, hear, touch, taste and smell.
I’m not suggesting you overload each paragraph with all five senses, merely to use them throughout the story to add depth. Each of the five senses, when used within relevant scenes will allow the writer to show the reader the story as oppose to telling her what’s happening.
Just remember to arouse all of your character’s senses and you’ll do the same with your reader. It will result in a story that is significant and satisfying. Your reader will be fully invested in your story because she was able to connect with your hero and heroine, feel as if she was right there experiencing their experiences and she'll want them to have that happy-ever-after.
So the next time you sit to write a scene, try to use as many of the senses as you can to describe your scene and add emotional depth.