1. motormouth
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    motormouth New Member

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    writing a deaf character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by motormouth, Apr 2, 2012.

    Im writing a deaf character in on of my scripts and im wondering what is the best means of getting her to relat/ communicate to other characters. Only 1 other cast member will actually be able to understand sign language, however, this deaf character (named Navarrah) can read lips and understand others. As a side note, shes quite rude and short tempered.

    Ideas- She is always accompanied by the other character who acts as her interpreter. So when she signs, the other lady will say what she say (I plan to use this ,but i dont want them in the same scene all the time, seeing as she will have some scenes where she and a guy shes interested in are together alone)

    2 She talks very rarely but from her voice ,we hear she cant form words properly (I considered using this ,but it was pointed out it may make her seem less"competent"if she talks clearly, she wont seem to be deaf to the audience.


    3) She walks with a pen and pad to write down whatever she has to say, give it to the person and they read out loud.

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  2. CarterE
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    CarterE New Member

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    Idea 1~Idea one, I like the best, it would be interesting for that to be.

    Idea 2~Yes your point is true. So I would say no.

    Idea 3~This might not work and would seem not right in some parts of your book. Depending on the book of course

    Hope this helped!
  3. killbill
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    killbill Member

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    My mother has a friend who is deaf and she can make sounds but no actual words. My mother and she have developed their own sign language and they communicate well but we can't. We love her a lot and she loves us. She somehow always manages to make us understand what she is saying. She always tell me I have a pot belly and I should do some running exercise :). So, I don't see much problem when she is alone with her love interest. The guy may not know the formal sign languages, but every people instinctively know basic sign languages.

    The third option is very practical and it should work. If this is a modern day story she can even use a phone (which she also uses for texting) to type words instead of pen and paper.

    My advice, use both option 1, 3 and basic sign languages depending on the situation.
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Supporter Contributor

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    many deaf people can speak intelligibly... there are even deaf actors like marlee matlin, who has distinguished herself in many speaking parts...

    so you do not have to make your character dumb, or sounding unintelligent, just because she's deaf... do your homework and study the many films with deaf characters, to see the various ways to communicate you can choose from, to use for your character... you can also see how they're written, by downloading the scripts that are available on imdb and script-o-rama...
  5. Lou Plot Point Olson
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    Lou Plot Point Olson New Member

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    Odd suggestion but stuff cotton in your ears. be deaf for a while. don't listen. then play charades for an hour straight with a friend. try that then worry about the relating.
  6. erik martin
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    erik martin New Member

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    Might want to look at Stephen King's, The Stand. He had a deaf main character and dealt with the same issues you're struggling with.
  7. Jaroen
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    Jaroen New Member

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    So I'm new on this writing forum. I was searching some info for myself and stumbeld on this.
    I read a book once about a deaf girl, so i figured i had to comment.
    The boek is called Stille Lippen (its written in dutch, so maybe you could do some research and trasnlation on it). Translated it would say Silent Lips. Written by Dirk Bracke.
    I like reading it a lot. The thing why this worked so well is because it was written a lot from POV of this girl who was deaf (not really deaf but close enough). Lots of lip reading, and when people didn't quite understand what the hack she was doing she would point to her ears. Letting people now she was deaf. Which made the situtions a lot easier.

    Hope it helps somewhat.
    J.
  8. Piddlepup
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    Piddlepup New Member

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    Watching the movie "Children of a Lesser God" or reading the play may help you there. Many of the people I grew up with who were deaf had hearing aids which helped them to the point that they could speak pretty clearly with a slight speech impediment.

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