The point of fiction is to cast a spell, a momentary illusion that you are living in the world of the story. Fiction engages the senses, helps us create vivid mental simulacra of the experiences the characters are having.
How do you play with these senses to build that connection between your reader and your writing? How can your writing help readers feel what your characters feel instead of just knowing how they feel? Fiction writer and University of California Riverside professor Nalo Hopkinson shares a few incredibly helpful writing tips in this TED-Ed lesson: How to Write Descriptively.
If you describe the story in matter of fact, non-tactile language, the spell risks being a weak one…. So when you write, use well-chosen words to engage sound, sight, taste, touch, smell, and movement. Then create unexpected connotations among your story elements, and set your readers’ brushfire imaginations alight.
Related studies include Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer and Novel Finding: Reading Literary Fiction Improves Empathy.