Writing About Blind Characters.
This is something I've been procrastinating: writing about a blind character in their POV (point of view). Last night I finally got to it and wrote just over six hundred words. I'm not entirely satisfied, but I know it comes with time because this is a challenge.
The reason why I'm pursuing this challenge is because it'd be very interesting to look at the world through this character's POV. He'd naturally know things and remember things differently than we do. It puts an interesting affect on his survival in the story I've put him in. It's a character I want to explore.
The challenge is this: writing using the four senses of taste, touch, smell, and hearing. My character, Saul, is totally blind. I've been able to get around this, but I've been having some difficulty with describing how he gets around, what's going on inside his head, and knows his location, even though I've devised how he recognizes his location: mainly touch.
When I read what I've written about him, it doesn't sit right with me. My writing depends mainly on sight throughout the story, yet keeping the other senses active. Because of the lack of using sight in Saul's POV, I have difficulty staying inside of his POV. Because of this, I'm trying to decide if I should do a detached omnipresent third person POV: not really touching his thoughts, but sort of looking at him as if by observation. I'm not sure at this point, but I also really want to get inside his head.
Or I can go with extreme description with touch, hearing, taste, and smell while describing the action. I've come to understand that when blind, other senses are much more acute because we're no longer or never have been dependent on sight.
This may be an odd predicament, but I'd like your opinions. Any suggestions... things to keep in mind... I'd like to know what my Fellow Writers think.
I apologize for the long message, but I've tried to explain this as clearly as possible.
Wow, tough problem. I admire you for trying to tackle it! I think it would be far more interesting to have the story inside his head, and make the reader 'see' what it's like to be blind ... but I don't know how you can do that withouth actually *being* blind. It'd probably be a good idea to talk to a blind person and see how they experience things. I have nooooo idea how you'd go about that, though.
I think with a little digging you could find short stories, maybe even novels, from the point of view of a blind person. You could also do research; how do blind people usually get around, when do you need a dog and when are you fine with just a cane, how much sharper your senses get, what it's like trying to get a job, stuff like that. So even if you don't know what it's like to experience it, you'll have a sense of the logistics of being blind and some of the day-to-day requirements.
Watch: A lifetime original movie; Helen Keller...
Or some biography of hers.
Imelda: I defiantly appreciate the support. Sometimes I can close my eyes and not depend on sight and just feel things, because I have a odd way of imagining by putting myself somewhere else, inside of someone else. I can't really explain it. It's as close as I can get to being blind, though. I don't know anyone that's blind, I've asked my parents and they don't know anyone either, so I've narrowed to asking my character probing questions. I have come across a sort of testimony, though, about what it was like to become blind because of a disease present from birth. It was helpful with the psychology of that particular way of becoming blind.
Isis: I have no doubt in my mind that someone has written something about a blind person in their point of view. I just have to find it. I think it's just such an interesting character and the situation I'm putting him in, doing the whole load of research will defiantly be worth it. It'll just take a little time, because I'm prepared to read and watch all I can about it.
Willis: It's funny, I've never given Helen Keller much thought until you mentioned it. You'd think I would. I'll see what I can find as far as movies and biograhies go.
Thanks to all of you.
Last edited by Sick; 08-10-2007 at 04:17 PM.