If you’re a writer or you’ve studied creative writing, chances are you’ve come across the expression ‘Show, Don’t Tell.’
In literature and poetry, this is called ‘Imagery’ — the use of different expressions and figurative language to evoke a sensory experience in the reader.
What is Sensory Imagery in Literature?
When authors use the imagery in their writings, they provide readers with the sensory details to help them fully understand the imaginary world created in the book.
Sensory imagery works by engaging a reader’s five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, and feeling) with concrete details that allows them to create vivid imagery of what is happening.
New writers often struggle to understand the difference between showing and telling
But, Most of the authors know these differences, and yet they fail to maintain the balance between showing and telling.
If you’re one of them, bookmark this article that has over 300+ Show Don’t Tell Examples. These sentences are completely at your disposal. You can use them in your writing as they are. (Just put us in attributions, it’ll make us happy).
Before I begin, understand that there are 7 different types of imagery in literature:
Types of Imagery in Literature
- Visual Imagery
- Auditory Imagery
- Olfactory Imagery
- Gustatory Imagery
- Tactile Imagery
- Kinesthetic Imagery
- Organic Imagery
In this article, I’ll talk in-depth about Gustatory imagery.
The Gustatory imagery appeals to our sense of taste by describing something the narrator or protagonist tastes. It’s most effective when the author describes a taste a reader might have experienced before so they can recall it from their memory.
Taste. The character gets a taste of something or tastes something. How will the reader know what it is or how it tastes? To provoke your reader’s taste buds, make ample use of gustatory imagery. Whether something is spicy or sour or too sweet for the character’s liking, the reader ought to savour or be disgusted with that. Besides food, there are more obvious objects which a person tastes.
Gustatory Imagery Examples:
- Blood oozing out of split lip
- Chlorine in water while swimming
- Taste of a corroded coin
- Overcooked Meat
- Ink from a pen
- Cement or soil a kid swallows while playing
- Rainwater falling from the tin-roof
- Chewing Gum
- Runny Nose
- Earwax/ Booger
- Baby’s skin while kissing it
- Shampoo/ Soap/ Oil
- Snow/ Ice
- Cookie Dough
- Dessert Sprinklers
- Cold Metal
- Sea water
- Freshly baked bread
- Stale broccoli
- Moulded Pizza
- Ripened banana
- Sweat trickling down forehead
Adjectives which suit best the above written nouns are as follows:
Before you leave, check out these 100+ examples on Tactile imagery to empower your ‘Show don’t tell game.’