A friend of mine recommended an “excellent book—a simply must read!” Oh, how I hate those. They interrupt my life. Do I write or read? Load of laundry or read? Go to gym—or read? It’s an addiction. Be it flame to moth or winno to whiskey, I went to my Kindle and three clicks later, I got my fix. True to tale, amazing book.
Not only is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerrbeautiful and engaging from every possible pore, one of the main characters is blind. Doerr tells the story in third person omniscient; therefore, this character comes to us through sounds, smells, and touch. Not only is this a refreshing way to know a character, it could be a great writing technique for our sighted characters as well.
I’m going to experiment. I’m going to have my characters enter rooms and I’m going to write the scene as if that sighted character is actually blind. As writers, we struggle to bring the scenes alive through senses—always adding this and that. It never occurred to me to actually to take something away.
I may or may not add vision to some of the scenes altogether. Maybe it will be energizing for the reader to come back into a room visited many times before with the character (say the character’s kitchen, living room or office) but to experience this room through the other senses. As I continue to brainstorm, maybe those smells can also “reflect” what is happening to the character. For instance, tough times can have the smell of rot whereas good times can smell of roses. If my character closed her eyes, what would she hear? Close by and far away? Are some sounds more comforting?
Looking forward to a much needed Writing Group fix where I will bring my newest experiment to be poked and prodded.