Here are 5 exercises to help develop awareness of senses. (I’ve adapted some of them from Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer.)
1. Go somewhere. A shopping center is a good place, but really any place that you can walk around in will work. Pay attention to smells. Really sniff around a lot. Notice scents more than anything else. How are the scents different? What makes you notice them? Choose one of the scents you encountered and describe it in at least 100 words without using the name of the smell.
2. Taste something you don’t normally taste (and which is not toxic or harmful to taste!). It can be anything. Lick a rock if you have to. Then write at least 100 words describing the sensation of tasting that thing.
3. A gecko’s sense of touch is incredibly sensitive because of the cilia in its toes. Try to imagine how that sensitivity might trump other senses and write at least 100 words from a gecko’s point of view.
4. Go to a crowded place and try to separate out various conversations without identifying the people talking. Write down some lines of speech with descriptions of tone, emphasis, etc. Then write a passage of at least 100 words that incorporates what you heard.
5. Collect textures by taking a walk and running your hand over whatever you encounter, unless it’s dangerous (like a pit bull). Come back and write at least 100 words describing what you touched.