1. seije
    Offline

    seije Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    verb choice for a sixth sense

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by seije, Nov 3, 2009.

    so, i'm having a bit of trouble deciding how i want to handle a sixth sense i'm writing in a novel. It's similar to telepathy, but it only works with emotions, and those with excellent control can hide or mask their emotions.

    My problem comes in describing how others feel without making it seem like the point of view randomly changes, and without pulling the reader back to the 'popcorn' point of view.

    here's an example:

    Kesia stumbled nervously through the the circle of dragons and stopped abruptly in front of Als. She felt nervous.

    The POV is supposed to be from the character Als. the last sentence, 'she felt nervous.' is supposed to be Als sensing how she feels, but how it's written now makes it seem as if it's her point of view, and i don't like writing it as "He could sense that she was nervous." because of popcorn POV, and it's also unclear as to whether it's his sixth sense acting, or just regular intuition (although that second issue might be me splitting hairs).

    I'm thinking about making up a verb for it, but i was wondering if anyone else had any ideas on the subject. I've already made up a few words for my novel, and i'd really like to keep created words to a minimum.

    thoughts?



    edit: (ever post some of your work, then realize it's terrible? hooray for fixing an unnecessarily long sentence.)
     
  2. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    I think you've misunderstood what Cog meant by 'popcorn POV' and why he discouraged it. In the example you've given, something along the lines of "He knew she was nervous." seems the easiest way to do it without breaking the POV you've already established. Also, it seems like overkill to say she "stumbled nervously" and then have another sentence saying he knew she was nervous.
     
  3. seije
    Offline

    seije Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    hmm... good point. maybe i'll go take another look at that POV post. And fix my redundancy. And get some coffee.
     
  4. seije
    Offline

    seije Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    okay, now that i'm a bit more informed, and focused (though still a little tired... Didn't get that coffee), allow me to try again.

    Kesia stumbled clumsily through the the circle of dragons and stopped abruptly in front of Als. She felt nervous.

    I still think i have a bit of an issue. I'm writing in 3rd person limited following Als. While i could solve the problem by writing "He could sense she was nervous," I still have a problem with that; It still feels like it pulls the reader out of Als's head.

    I don't know why, but i like the idea of 'taste' as my verb. sensing emotions a a flavor intrigues me... I really like it. I think i want to use a made-up word, 'thaste' (combining think and taste).

    Kesia stumbled clumsily through the the circle of dragons and stopped abruptly in front of Als. She thasted nervous.

    If i explained it well, would you, as a reader, be willing to accept the word? or do you think it sounds too odd? I'm also tempted to just use 'taste,' but i'm worried about that because the book has dragons with this ability. i'd hate to confuse the reader into thinking that the dragons are eating people.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
     
  5. CharlieVer
    Offline

    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Raritan, NJ
    Does the one with the sixth sense feel what the other person is feeling--or merely sense it?

    I'd like to see more powerful description, instead of telling us what the character is feeling ("nervous") make AI--and the reader--feel nervous right along with Kesia. Don't tell us she's nervous... make us feel Kesia's hands tremble, the blood pumping through her veins, the sinking feeling in her heart...

    Even if AIs is a dragon... if it's intelligent enough to think and to have thoughts through its POV, it's intelligent enough for you to describe its emotions.

    If AI does not "feel" what she's feeling, you could describe what the sixth-sense experience feels like to AI. ("Kesia's whole body radiated with fear; AI could feel it like waves of heat from a flame, and his pores stood in goosebumps..." or something to that effect.)

    Oh, and if you must say "nervous," please don't say it twice in two sentences. (As in the version, "stumbled nervously... she felt nervous.") But I see that's already been addressed here...

    Charlie
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Kesia stumbled through the the circle of dragons and stopped abruptly in front of Als. Her uncertainty clung to her as a shivering grey mist.
     
  7. Sillraaia
    Offline

    Sillraaia Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    Fear radiated from her.
    Als couldn't help but feel some of her fear.
    Sheer terror oozed from her very essence.
    Als hands began to shake - Kasia's fear must be strong.
    Waves of terror emanated from her being.
    Als could smell her fear.
    Als stiffened on her approach - he could almost taste her fear.

    I think Cog's is better, but a sentence like his, by itself, might look out of place among the rest of your book unless you can keep it up. Just thought I would throw some others out there - food for thought.


    Edit::
    LOL CharlieVer
     
  8. CharlieVer
    Offline

    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Raritan, NJ
    OR, you could say that emotion gets distorted through sixth-sense absorption, so that fear becomes mirth, and AI starts laughing hysterically, rolling on the floor slapping his knee, which he knows means that she's afraid...

    Just an idea ;)

    Charlie
     
  9. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    I like the idea of going into what Als feels.

    Sensing Kesia's emotions, Als could almost feel his hands shake, palms sweat, stomach turn, and throat constrict. She didn't need to be nervous, but how could he make her feel comfortable?
     
  10. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    How about this:

    "Als could almost feel Kesia's hands shake, palms sweat, stomach turn, and throat constrict. She didn't need to be nervous, but how could he make her feel comfortable?"

    It's more direct, as he now feels her hands shake, as if he was sensing her from within instead of having it projected onto his own body.
     
  11. Sillraaia
    Offline

    Sillraaia Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    1
    I like that one Horus, it seems to feel more natural.
     
  12. seije
    Offline

    seije Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    lots of great ideas, thanks! I'm gonna have to give it a bit more thought...

    Now that i've slept on it a bit, i don't think i want to make up a word. Nouns are acceptable, but verbs are just too awkward to expect people to be comfortable with.

    Now that i really think about it, I like the idea of making the sixth sense work differently for different characters. maybe it's not strong enough to have it's own presence as a sense, so it uses other senses to manifest itself.
     
  13. A2theDre
    Offline

    A2theDre Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Australia
    You could make up a noun. Something similar to "aura" and explain that it's more sensed than seen. Then you could have the final sentence refer to the "aura", or whatever word you've used.
     

Share This Page