Nostril Imagery

Nostril Imagery

A Lesson by Flamefate Rainkeys

Don't worry if you've done this. You're forgiven.


You probably know what you're going to see here, so I'm not going to bore you with an unnecessary intro. Straight into Lesson Numero Uno.




And so comes imagery. For those of you who don't know what "imagery" is, it's any word or phrase that paints a picture in the reader's mind. Some novels, this won't matter so much. 99% of them, though, you'll need to practice good imagery. Imagery should sound short and familiar.


I don't know why, but when new writers describe smell, they really want to do something about the nostrils. Like so:

TRITE: "The scent of the chlorine from the overly chlorinated pool flowed into his nostrils."

TRITE: "The smell of the pine cones reverberated inside my nostrils, causing me to smile."


What the hell? Whenever you smell something, does it feel like it's bouncing around inside your nose holes for a whole sentence? No? It's not only a cliché for its popularity, it is terribly awkward imagery. I actually don't understand why it's popular.


Think about it for a moment. What does it feel like when you smell something strong or just a hint? Indeed, it does NOT feel like it's echoing through the canyons of your nose. It could feel like a lingering aroma that relaxes you. Or it could be a punch to the face. And everything inbetween.


For now, try this.


BETTER: "The chlorine from the pool was so potent that my nose crinkled and my eyes watered."

BETTER: "The familiar fragrance warmed her from head to toe. Welcomed by the sweetness of pine needles, she burrowed her face deeper into his jacket."


There are some exceptions to using "nostril," just as there are some exceptions to every cliché. However, if you never use it, you're set for life.

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Posted 6 Years Ago

:) Wow Great Lesson
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Added on August 4, 2012
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Flamefate Rainkeys
Flamefate Rainkeys

Middle of Nowhere, NV

My username has meaning, I swear. Just not one you can guess. Though I don't really live in the middle of Nowhere, I'm not comfortable disclosing any personal information to utter strangers. Sorry...