Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Traditionally those are the five senses. I suddenly decided to rerun this mini-series on The Senses. I originally did this series five years ago, so maybe it’s fitting.
In novel writing I try to involve all your (the reader’s) senses. Today I want all of us to begin building a story together. One by one, we’ll use all the senses. More about that in a minute…
With each of these posts I’m asking you to please leave a comment with one or two words that my image-prompt for the featured sense brings to your mind. Use either the “three Kermits” pictured above or use the beautiful foggy cemetery by Dan Antion below.
To begin this mini-series, I will select the sense of — hearing.
Part 1 — Hearing
All the senses can work together. Descriptions of sounds can help readers see your story. For example, here’s a snippet from Atonement, Tennessee. I’ve shared it before. I told this from Ralda Lawton’s point of view. She was in a position where she could not see what was happening, but she could hear. This happens early in the novel, before Ralda knows about any of the “supernaturals” in the town. She’s just moved, and her cat gets outside. Of course she follows the calico — to the cemetery.
I was sheltered by a big clump of tall bushes of some sort. I thought they might be mountain laurel. I could see the broad side of the mausoleum from there. Shadows lurched violently against the stone crypt. Big shadows. Reflexively I drew back into the concealing vegetation causing it to rustle. Then I heard a loud avian-like screech and realized that the shadow shapes might have been wings. My heart hammered.
The noise escalated. It definitely sounded like more than one creature was causing that ruckus. Then I heard the cat hiss.
I dropped the box of food I had brought to lure Lilith back, and ran toward the sounds; ready to use the flashlight as a club, and wishing I had something more effective.
“Lilith!” I called. Oh, let’s face it — I screamed!
As I ran out form the concealing mountain laurel a gust of wind buffeted me. I tripped and fell on the uneven pavers of the path, just as the wind blew my hair, along with some dirt, into my eyes. I couldn’t see at all for a moment, but I heard a lot of heavy rustling, scraping, shifting sounds.
Every time I thought I had half way cleared my eyes, the wind blew something into them again. I struggled to my feet, desperately wiping my stinging eyes. I heard soft footsteps coming toward me.
Now it’s your turn. Focus on one of the images above. Really look at it. Imagine yourself inside that image. Look at the details of the subject and the background. Now, with only a few words, leave a comment and tell me what you hear.
What did you hear?
Open Invitation: Maybe a few words aren’t enough — and that’s great! If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better! If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post. Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.
Your blog doesn’t have to be about writing. Think about how you can make “hearing” part of your photograph, painting, or meditation. Yes, meditation. Focus, one at a time, on each of the things you hear. Think about all the details of the sound and how it makes you feel. If that’s a bad feeling, move on to the next sound. I should probably make a distinction between “sound” and “noise” so that we keep this positive.
Hugs on the wing!
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The Atonement, TN universe of urban fantasies
The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee
Atonement in Bloom
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