Smells and Sounds in Literature
Learn more about the book "Marcel's Letters" and the font P22 Marcel Script, which is based on the handwriting of conscripted WWII laborer Marcel Heuzé
Mary Carroll Moore, Loft Literary Center, Carolyn Porter, Marcel's Letters, Marcel Heuzé, Marcel Heuze
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Smells and Sounds in Literature

Yesterday, I took a class at the Loft Literary Center taught by the powerhouse writer/instructor Mary Carroll Moore. Mary packed the day with ideas and information on honing craft skills. 

One particular tidbit really hit me. Mary said that many writers — North American writers in particular — primarily rely on the sense of sight to express places, events, and experiences. Other literary cultures rely more heavily on smell and sound.

She also noted that smells and sounds are processed in a more basic part of the brain, and therefore those senses can make a more powerful connection with the reader than only describing the way something looks. In her personal editing process, Mary said she makes a point of describing smells and sounds, since she does not naturally include those senses in early drafts of her writing.

In the current draft of Marcel’s Letters, I believe I only describe smells a handful of times. I mention sound more often, but as I continue to revise and refine, it’s something I’m going to pay close attention to.