Master Tactile Imagery with 100+ Literary Examples

‘Show, don’t tell’ isn’t just a phrase to embellish your writing. It’s a way for readers to connect with your characters and the story. It’s a way for the readers to be around them and in the midst of the story. It’s a way for the readers to live the story your characters are living and you lived as the author of it.

Now, we often find ourselves in the dilemma of how to show more and tell less, or at least maintain a balance between the two. Each writer writes to improve and weave the stories for the world to get lost into and come out as if it lived them.

Sensory Imagery in Literature

Well, this is done through ‘Sensory Imagery’. 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. 

Show Don’t Tell Examples.
Sensory Imagery in Literature

Through a combination of sensory imageries, authors arm the readers with information that gives them the pleasure of arriving at their own judgements through perceptual clues. 

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

 imagery literary examples
tactile imagery literary examples
  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Olfactory
  4. Gustatory
  5. Tactile
  6. Kinesthetic
  7. Organic 

But in this article, we’ll only focus on Tactile Imagery.

Tactile Imagery in Literature

The tactile imagery appeals to our sense of touch by describing something the protagonist feels on their body. It may include the feel of different physical sensations, temperatures, and textures.

tactile imagery literary examples

What your characters feel, how they touch, how something touches them, a reader feels these things via your writing. When you put in the imagery for touch and tangibility, you use Tactile Imagery. Essentially, the reader ought to feel those things that your character feels. This is where tactile imagery comes handy. I am providing you with a few example Adjectives describe touch, skin, pattern and texture:

Tactile Imagery Examples in Literature

  1. Abrasive
  2. Corrosive
  3. Coarse
  4. Sharp
  5. Pointed
  6. Edged
  7. Curved
  8. Barbed
  9. Bald
  10. Hairy
  11. Sticky
  12. Silky
  13. Smooth
  14. Cold
  15. Hot
  16. Lukewarm
  17. Chunky
  18. Patchy
  19. Rough
  20. Damp/ Wet
  21. Dry
  22. Chapped
  23. Slippery
  24. Damaged
  25. Blistered
  26. Crocheted
  27. Cushioned
  28. Clammy
  29. Dented
  30. Plastic
  31. Rubbery
  32. Doughy
  33. Blunt
  34. Bulging
  35. Engraved
  36. Embossed
  37. Even
  38. Watery
  39. Gooey
  40. Mushy
  41. Slushy
  42. Sloppy
  43. Spongey
  44. Pulpy
  45. Greasy
  46. Glossy
  47. Grainy
  48. Gravelly
  49. Grimy
  50. Hollow
  51. Frozen
  52. Rocky
  53. Stony
  54. Inflated
  55. Deflated
  56. Itchy
  57. Cottony
  58. Woolly
  59. Metallic
  60. Papery
  61. Crispy
  62. Crunchy
  63. Brittle
  64. Crumbly
  65. Firm
  66. Jagged
  67. Spiked
  68. Serrated
  69. Toothed
  70. Oily
  71. Pleated
  72. Padded
  73. Patterned
  74. Polished
  75. Holey
  76. Moist
  77. Sandy
  78. Flimsy
  79. Chiffony
  80. Gossamery
  81. Gauzy
  82. Delicate
  83. Thin
  84. Thick
  85. Light
  86. Transparent
  87. Opaque
  88. Translucent
  89. Buttery
  90. Meaty
  91. Fleshy
  92. Burly
  93. Muscular
  94. Sturdy
  95. Rigid
  96. Frigid
  97. Friable
  98. Soapy
  99. Sodden
  100. Velvety
  101. Wrinkled
  102. Wavy
  103. Marshy
  104. Miry
  105. Swampy
  106. Hard
  107. Weedy
  108. Soggy
  109. Withered
  110. Feathery
  111. Thorny
  112. Spinous
  113. Steely
  114. Dense

For nouns, you can use any object that goes best with any of the adjectives provided earlier.

Tactile Imagery Sentence Examples:

  • As I tumbled down the hill, the loose rocks raced alongside me, pricking my hands and face like a hundred tiny knives.
  • She started to sweat so feverishly that, when she rose from the leather couch, her slippery skin stuck to it like a Command Strip

Now that you have a thorough understanding of literary elements to use in your own writing, it’s time to put your skills to use! The only way to do this is to practice and actually sit down to write.

Before you leave, check out these 100+ examples on Organic imagery to empower your ‘Show don’t tell game.’

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