Wednesday, Writing for the Senses — Sight

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

eyes forest aqua fantasy-pixabay

What’s that you said?  “Hello, stranger!”  Well, yes. I actually feel like a stranger, since I was without Internet for so long and unable to be here.  I’m trying a new setup.  At this point, I don’t feel very positive about it, but we’ll see how it goes.

Now that I’m back, I’ve decided to have a “limited run” theme for my midweek posts.  Back in 2016, I posted a  mini-series about Writing with the Senses. I’ve decided to re-use that theme with both old and new material.  I’m beginning with the sense of sight and working with my fictional, supernatural-infested little town of Atonement, Tennessee.

Writing for the Senses

You’d think sight would be the easiest of the five senses for this mini-series.  I guess it’s too simple.  I think everyone primarily writes, paints, or photographs based on what they see.  The obvious way to handle a post about “sight” might be to suggest ways of vividly describing the details of a setting.  However, let’s look at it a different way.  I want to get you to visualize the setting in a way that influences how you see a character.

Using the Senses to Develop Characters

I wrote Atonement, Tennessee in first person from the heroine’s point of view.  However, I wanted to do something different for events that she could not witness.  I decided to let her cat, Lilith, tell those parts from her uniquely feline take on things.  I wanted you to see what Lilith saw through feline eyes. 

Lilith and mirror

In the following scene from the Prologue of Atonement, Tennessee, Lilith sees a number of things that give life to her surroundings.  Her perception of them also builds the cat’s character and personality.

The calico sat meditatively swishing her tail as a pink sunrise gently lit the sky.  Her ears pricked as she turned toward the distant sound of a rooster crowing.  As morning light touched the tip of a spire on the mausoleum’s peaked roof, the calico abandoned her perch and trotted back toward her new home.

Sunlight glittered the morning dew on the grass, so she walked along the stone path.  The cat stopped in a sunny spot to watch a spider.  It disappeared beneath a stone, so she started washing her face, but listened for anything that might prove interesting.

Early sounds of the day were pushed aside when a shaggy dog with a ribbon bow on his head made his escape.  The owner began chanting the dog’s name, “Puddles, Puddles!” in a loud, displeased monotone. 

The dog, having thus far outwitted the master, scampered between hedges and under a fence, where the hateful bow was happily lost.  Skidding round a corner the dog came upon the fat calico cat.  Lilith stopped washing her face, paw in midair, and looked disdainfully at the dog.  An expression of comprehension sprang to the dog’s eyes.  He turned with a shrill yip and ran back to his still chanting master.

♣ ♣ 

Now that we’ve established Lilith clearly in her environment, consider the wet grass and the stone path. Weren’t you already thinking about the part of her personality that doesn’t like getting her feet wet?  As she pauses in washing her face to look at the dog, couldn’t you just imagine her attitude?

Your Turn!

Little girl in creepy garden
Rudy and Peter Skitterians at Pixabay

Now it’s your turn.  Look closely at the image above.  How you see it is unique to you. On what special element in the photo would you focus to bring out the setting you see (or want others to see).  Next, how can you describe the scene in a way that sheds light on the little girl’s character?  Now, with only a few words, leave a comment and tell me how you used your sense of sight.

Wishing you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump.  Friendly comments are encouraged.  Hugs!

♣ ♣ 2023 all 4 Atonement.jpg

♣ ♣ 

The Atonement Series

Atonement, Tennessee

Full series of e-books with one click:



Also in Spanish, translated by Olga Núñez Miret! The title for the Spanish-speaking market is Expiación y Magia

Atonement in Bloom



The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee




Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

51 thoughts on “Wednesday, Writing for the Senses — Sight

  1. Your comments and stories are so interesting, there is nothing that I can say that hasn’t already been written in the many comments. I really liked to meet you pretty cat, Lilith! she adds to the interest. Thank you for posting the photo! Thank you for posting your many comments, very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary steps outside as a growing child of five, taking in the warmth of spring and new beginnings. She heads to her love, the pink bike that sits in the corner of the yard, the one thing that brings adventure to her life as the tires spin across the grass and gravel. The sun beckons her down the block and slowly she turns into her real self, the gray-haired woman of sixty-five who smiles and giggles and finds joy in a lifelong passion on two wheels. Life has been good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome, back, Teagan! Here’s my offering on the photo:

    The sky didn’t look right. The sun was too big, and it had smeared the gray sky a greasy yellow. Fallen leaves from two half-bare trees littered the grass and lay unswept on the concrete pad under the table where her parents served all the best food to their friends. Someone had leaned her pink bike against a tree. It didn’t belong there, but she didn’t dare step into that oddly slanted block of light to retrieve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Neat idea to show the scene through the cat’s eyes and to use senses along with body language to show personality.

    The little girl’s hair is tussled, and she looks dirty on her back end. Here’s my take:

    She raced home on her bike to get away from the bully who pushed her into the squishy mud. Did he follow her? With a jagged rock tightly in her grip, this time she was ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The flowerpots on the table;
    She goes to the pots, and plants the seed she hold in her fisted hand. She looks up at the sun.
    Soon you’ll have some real friends. These sunflowers will keep you company, and fill in for you when you can’t come out to play.


  6. Loved you brought Lilith’s perspective… and knowing Cats like I do… I can vouch for not liking wet paws..

    The little girl’s tightly clenched fist, was the only sign of her anger as she stood in her back yard… Her brother having convincingly lied yet again. And so she was banned from riding her bike for a week…. But her brother didn’t know what was clenched in her tight fist and he would be sorry!

    🙂 Sending LOVE Teagan… And hopefully February will be smoother for your internet etc.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome back, Teagan. I have always been impress with your descriptions. I loved Lilith in the Atonement books.

    She saw her bike leaning against the bare tree. She asked her father not to put the training wheels on. She didn’t want to be embarrased, but he hadn’t had time to teach her to ride. “I’ll start on the patio. If I ride into the grass, I won’t get hurt if I fall.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved Lilith’s pov in Atonement. It was clever and totally fun, Teagan. In that image, my eye goes straight to that beautiful sky. The way the girl studies it from the shadows behind a fence tells me something about her hopes and longing and need to break out of whatever is confining her.
    Glad you’re back and I hope the fix sticks, my friend. A fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember Lilith and her likes and dislikes so well, Teagan! It was lovely to revisit it again. And thanks for the advice. I’m not inspired today, but I love the image. Fingers crossed your Internet solution works better than you think. Big hugs and enjoy the rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy Lilith has a friend in you, Olga.
      Yes, fingers crossed. Especially since I’m out of options. This setup is through my cell phone and a router. My phone has been reliable, even though both cable and “DSL” (landline phone to Internet) have problems getting the signal. It’s not great, and expensive if I stream more than a very little TV. But, like I said, I’ve exhausted all my options. I guess I could try satellite if this doesn’t work out, but that is also quite slow, and even more expensive.
      Thanks again for letting me know about Teri Polen’s review of A Peril in Ectoplasm. Hugs back!


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