1. Wastelander
    Offline

    Wastelander Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Blind Character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Wastelander, Sep 6, 2008.

    In a story I'm working on, there are multiple characters where the story is told from their perspective. One of these characters is blind. One of the issues I'm unsure about is how I should describe settings and situations. Should I focus more on sounds and textures rather than the visible? Or should I just write like I normally do?
     
  2. Kylie
    Offline

    Kylie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    America
    I think you should narrow it down to feelings and sounds when it comes to the blind person narrating. It'll make the reader feel how the blind person is feeling, making the story more realistic.

    I really like stories that have multiple characters narrating. :D
     
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    It depends on your POV so far. Is the narrator someone who is able to see the characters thoughts? If so, then I would focus more on sounds and textures than sight. If it's first person, then you definitely don't want any sights in your narration. There was a thread not too long ago where someone put a blindfold over their eyes to see what it felt like to be blind. Also, it helps if you know someone who is blind and learn what their daily life is like.
     
  4. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I think you should narrow down the feelings, but that kind of depends on what kind of narration it is.
    I think narrowing it down would make it more believable.
     
  5. ciavyn
    Offline

    ciavyn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    You need to decide "how blind" the person is, as well. There is a big difference between how someone "sees" the world who has been blind all of their life vs. someone who is losing their sight over time. Highly recommend spending some time with someone that is blind. I wrote a story - a book actually, my one finished manuscript - where the romantic interest of the MC is blind, and because I had several people I worked with that were blind, in addition to a family member, I was able to show a different perspective, while being honest to the character. Again, my character had "gone blind" over time, as opposed to a business friend who had been blind all of her life.
     
  6. Ungood
    Offline

    Ungood Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    6
    Write like you normally do to get the story down, you can always edit it later.
     
  7. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I'm writing about someone who has been blind all his life.
    And each is a cool perspective.
    I assume the one who is gradually losing his eyes might miss certain colors or certain sights.
    While one who has not seen this would view the world as a picture less, sound driven world.
     
  8. ciavyn
    Offline

    ciavyn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    You got it, Leaka - it's a much different mindset when you've never had it. I got the privilege to speak at length with several of my bosses who were blind, and several that were deaf, as well, and I will say there was a lot less issue with those who had never had it, vs. those who had lost it. It's also interesting to see how well those who had sight at one point "fake" it - one guy - I swear, you'd never know. He could see only bright colors and light, and he always said my hair - it's red - was easy to see and identify, which is how he fooled me for months. :p
     
  9. Leaka
    Offline

    Leaka Creative Mettle

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,825
    Likes Received:
    36
    I have always thought those who are born blind have a higher sense then us.
    I don't know why, it sounds foolish, but something about someone who hasn't seen the world and cannot judge the world on sight alone seems much more wiser then us with sight.
    I always picture those who are blind have a higher awareness of the world around them.
     
  10. ciavyn
    Offline

    ciavyn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Harrisburg, PA
    It's a nice thought. :) I can assure you, just as prejudice and sneaky as the rest of us! But the experience was an amazing one, to get that kind of insight and the freedom to ask questions. I works in an office of Voc. Rehab that hired mostly people with disabilities, and it was interesting to see that while some where honestly there to help those with disabilities, others got into a hierarchy of "Who's disability is worse?" But then, we are all human, no matter our strengths and shortcomings.

    I also worked in prison, so I can give you all kinds of insight there, if you ever need any! ;)
     
  11. Wastelander
    Offline

    Wastelander Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually it is neither. She becomes blind instantly in an accident (I've done some research so it's possible). So actually half of her point of view will be normal. So I think I'm going to stress the differences so she can grow as a character more. Thanks for the help and ideas guys :)
     
  12. Scattercat
    Offline

    Scattercat Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Under there.
    You might also benefit from reading some of Oliver Sack's books. He has several case studies that deal specifically with this.

    I think the most interesting story he told was of a man who went almost totally blind (could distinguish bright daylight from nighttime, and that was it) in his teens and then, in his fifties, had his sight restored by a new operation. It was incredibly difficult for him to learn how to "see" things; his brain had literally rewritten its processing capabilities, and put up different hardwiring. He had trouble seeing depth at all, because his ability to perceive and process three-dimensional space had atrophied from disuse.

    The point that struck me the most from his descriptions of his state was when he mentioned that blind people don't perceive the world in terms of distance and relative objects - like you and I would with our eyes closed, visualizing the objects we encounter with our touch - but rather that the world is connected by time. Five steps from the bathroom door to the top of the stairs; thirteen steps of handrailing; four steps to the couch. It's not organized in spatial relationships at all, but rather as a series of points on a timeline.

    I thought that was fascinating; I'm very visually oriented, and the idea of "picturing" the world without the concept of space was intriguing.
     
  13. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    The thing about hearing being better for blind people isn't necessarily true, especially if they are born blind. Disabilities and exceptionalities tend to come in pairs. That's called "dual diagnosis." A friend of mine who went to a high school for the blind said that more than 60% of the students had dual diagnoses. What is true is that if a person is born blind and has nothing wrong with their ears is that they have to learn how to use their ears more because they have to do more things by sound than site. Their hearing isn't necessarily better. They would just know how to use it better.
     

Share This Page