[Write on Wednesday] – Touch

Touch is a sense that some writers naturally use often and others, hardly ever. I mean obviously if you’re writing a romance, there’s going to be some touching, but there are other ways to use this sense that will pull readers into your story. Let’s give it a try.

Woman touching white textile Photo by Claudia Soraya on Unsplash

The Prompt

Your main character has been deprived of a wide range of touch for some reason (a medical crisis? A custodial sentence? Some otherworldly reason…) and re-enters a life where they can touch and be touched. They have anticipated this day for so long. Does it go the way they expect?

Tips

  • Start by touching everything that you can reach from where you are (Respecting personal boundaries, of course, and don’t forget to wash your hands before and after. Just sayin’). How do things feel when you touch them with your fingertips vs your palm? How does one fabric compare to another? What temperature is this surface vs that? What colors would you assign them, if you had to? 
  • Think about all the things your character might touch for the first time. What would they feel like? What associations, memories, emotions might they bring up? What do they represent to your character and why?
  • As your character moves physically through the world, remember to reveal their inner journey (the surprises, the disappointments) too.
  • You could allow them to carry on a conversation with someone else while having a very different inner monologue. 
  • Try to avoid cliches when describing how things feel. Don’t say something is metallic. Give it a color, a shape, a weight, a personality, even a taste.
  • Remember that sound is, in fact, vibration: sound waves bouncing off your body. Don’t be afraid to use this.
  • Another alternative for this prompt is to ignore my premise (above) but to make every description and metaphor touch related. Your great-aunt Hilda is as comforting as a belt sander. Your best friend’s advice slips through your mind like sand through your fingers…

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

Discussion: How did your exploration of the world of touch go, this week? Did you learn anything about your descriptive writing? Did you find yourself noticing your senses in a new way?

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