Image via WikipediaTelling stories your readers will enjoy involves the five senses: we all know that. It is common knowledge that humans are very sight-focussed, and that books that involve the other four senses seem to be more evocative and stirring. Good authors evoke smells, textures, tastes and noises as well as sights.
One way to intrigue and absorb readers is to use props that ensure the senses become involved. Even without lengthy descriptions, some props have the ability, even if they are mentioned briefly, to make writing come alive and palpable, palatable, or audible: all in the reader's mind. A character's suit, if made of corduroy, is suddenly textured. A villain's words, if breathed through whisky-laden breath, are even more forceful. A bell ringing in the distance, if it has a deep baritone sound, can be even more poignant.
It takes a mere two or three words to add sensuality to a sentence. The props you create have the ability to deepen and widen your scope as a writer. Rather than just have a shotgun, have one that smells of rancid Tetra-oil. Rather than have a bicycle, have one with a squeaky wheel. Rather than have a cocktail, have one that tastes of lime and pineapple. Rather than have a plain sandwich, have one filled with shrimp and lemon mayonnaise. Don't just write about a car: have a 1969 Morris Minor Woody.
Novels are full of props that can be used more than just one way, and for more than just one reason. They serve a purpose in the story, but they can also serve to make the writer more memorable. Not that readers will be able to put a finger on what made the book more enjoyable: but they will come away with sounds, smells, sights and feelings that brought the story to life.
Many of my stories are about food. I also use memorable locations, works of art, money, artists' implements, tools and electronic appliances. The things I use in my stories are never more important than my characters or their names, but they are vital in the atmosphere I want to create. When characters move about within a location the reader can easily visualise, and use or see props that are more than just props, the story comes alive, and is remembered as one of the most impressive things they have ever read, because it involved all their senses.