Touch words are such an important descriptive tool. Throughout our lives, we are constantly in touch with something. Whether it be a chair, clothes, another person, food, a door handle, or shoes – we are always in contact. We’re surrounded by textures, some common, some strange. They’re everywhere, so it would be a waste not to involve them in your descriptions!
Touch as Texture
Touch is a sense that we both take for granted and marvel at from time to time. Think of the softness of a new fluffy blanket, the smoothness of a baby’s skin, the rough sand between your toes, and the prickle of long grass against your legs. They’re the textures we’re more aware of. Ones that we take the time to experience. In contrast, you never really think about the cool glass in your hand or the ridges between the keys on your laptop. As writers, it’s important to try and notice every sense you come in contact with and see if you can encapsulate the feelings they invoke. By using touch words to help describe those feelings your descriptions resonate for deeply with your reader as your words engage on a more tangible level.
Touch as Action
While most senses can be described by actions as well as their scent, taste, etc. touch is perhaps the most commanding sense to refer to as actions. You can caress, but you can also strike. There is also the power of the near touch. In essence, the way we touch can be as profound as the textures we feel. So, update your touch words vocabulary to maximise the impact of your scenes and descriptions. But remember to use your touch words sparingly. Don’t overdo it!
As part of sensory descriptions series, The Writing Resource has covered sight, smell, sound, taste, and now touch! To help our members with updating their description game we’ve also created a free PDF with hundreds of descriptive words covering all five senses. If you want to become a member you can sign up, or if you already are a member grab your PDF below.