As Peter Wacks has told me on several occasions, "Every sense builds a scene."

This is a really simple way to convey a basic, but also complex issue in writing. Often writers use only hearing or sight to describe the scenes in which their characters move. However, by incorporating, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch into each scene, not only are you engaging the reader on more than one level, you're also incorporating everything that we experience in our daily lives within your own universe. 

So how to do this? Basically in every scene, you need to go through and make sure all five senses are being represented at least once (and try to make these tactical decisions, rather than arbitrary ones). When you go through your novel and do a setting sweep (which I recommend for you to tighten up your setting and make sure all the details are there), make sure each and every scene has details that bring the scene to life for the reader.

Don’t assume the reader knows anything about your setting and don’t use cliché shorthand for scenes. Build them fresh for your reader. Especially key in this is to remember to use a couple senses each time (and mix it up a little each time) to let the reader know where they are.

Paying attention to each scene in this fashion is also a surefire way to make sure your novel and its scenes don't suffer from White Room Syndrome. This basically means any setting that is bland or underdescribed. In other words, if your setting can easily be substituted for a white room, it needs some improvement. 

The key to every setting is that you draw the reader into it and really make them feel it as part of their experience reading. Give them settings that make the story pop to life. 

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