Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sensory Description

Monday, June 22nd

Today topic in class was sensory description, and what a day to discuss it. I was afraid my own sweat and dry mouth would distract me during the writing down the senses exercise. But it didn’t, and today I learned one of my most important exercises that will help with my rewrites. Here it is:

Write about your character as if they’re blind.

I have a big problem with eye cues, and I use them everywhere. I’d never thought about it, but if I do this, thinking about sensory perception is suddenly much easier.

Talk about a facepalm moment.

The senses that are used most are sight followed by hearing; least used is taste, touch, and scent.

Not a whole lot of instructing, but the follow-up of writing a short story in thirty minutes drove the exercise home. Senses make even a boring story marginally better.


Lady Glamis said...

Oh what an awesome way to think of it!!! Okay, this should get rid of those stupid eye references. :D

Danyelle said...

Awesome! Great advice, re character blindness. :D Using the other senses can be a lot of fun and add texture that sight alone cannot accomplish. :D

M. K. Clarke said...

Brian Kiteley mentions this very point in one of his fabulous book exercises THE 3 A.M. EPIPHANY, but he goes one deeper: Pick a sense they're deprived of and write from that perspective. Loss of sense of smell. Loss of taste. Or touch. Talk about harder. And you're limited to 700 words or less, too.

Good stuff. Looks like this instructor's been doin' his homework :).

Glynis said...

I think I will try this exercise. Interesting and useful. Thanks Marisol.

maria esperanza georgia noel hale said...

I suggest hanging out with an autistic person and trying to do what they do. Many are sensory sensitive and are extremely focused individuals. Once when hanging with your bro for about an hour ...playing with hangers and enjoying the feeling of them dancing on my fingers...I went and listen to a friend describe their favorite experience in Guatemala. I was sitting on the couch with him and could feel his words coming through the couch. I would have never noticed that had I not spent that time with Jeremiah earlier that day. Peace