Creative writing about being blind

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The Ramble 65 comments. So you want to write a blind character? Well, I get a lot of questions on Twitter. Who knows. Ehhhh, okay.

I wear reading glasses and use the internet like everybody else. Some of my blinder friends use screen readers or text to speech software to post their Tweets and blogposts. Because the world has adapted to us in a creative writing about being blind neat way. I do have a dragon though. The rest of us see on a scale of blindness. They sometimes have things like Coloboma. More on that later. You get the idea. Being blind or visually creative writing about being blind is on a spectrum of not seeing, rather than being a static condition.

For the last damn time, I am not Daredevil, okay. Point is, diseases like retinitis pigmentosa, or rubella, conditions such as albinism, or cataracts are likely responsible for the majority of blind folks out there.

I mean YOU imagine having a piece of a coke bottle driven into your eyeball on impact with the ground. Yes, that last sentence was to see if you can stomach reading about eyeball trauma. Me personally? Oh god no. But some people do! Mostly if they have severe light sensitivity as a result creative writing about being blind their condition which causes blindness!

More on that in a minute. Instead, I carry a white cane which gives me all kinds of feedback on the world at my feet. Most blind people have taken Orientation and Mobility not matter what adaptive device they use. Not everyone wants that. Well, I am really blind. Like I said earlier, blindness is on a spectrum. In a romantic context, creative writing about being blind In a corollary to this, yes. Blind people date, have sex, get married, all that kind of stuff.

I have a creative writing about being blind time looking people straight in the eye because as a kid my peers had a hard time doing so. Creative writing about being blind eye creeped people out. Some people. Enough of them that it started to matter. Also, when you turn your head to creative writing thesis proposal look someone in the eye, I can hear that and the sound is different.

Be polite and treat blind folks the way you would anyone else. That goes for in your writing too. But there are people who can! Like Daniel Kish. You know what would be really great? Give your blind characters and really any disabled characters you write personal autonomy. Not all of us have it, even I have to ask for help frequently, but let your characters ask, creative writing about being blind be given it without request. For selfish purposes, I suggest you read my piece in the upcoming anthology Upside Down from Apex Publishing.

My story is about the Blind Creative writing about being blind Are Magic trope! But really. Also, blindness, especially the way that blind eyes like mine look, are used as a shorthand for evil or untrustworthy characters. Really, what I want you to know is that blind people are people. Write blind folks who can ride wyverns, or who can ascend mountains with their trusty guide direwolves. You can find those floating around on the internet. Louis Shalako April 20, AM.

When writing the book I did things like shave and shower in the dark. The thoughts of my mother and sister having to show up on a daily basis to help me with creative writing about being blind most mundane chores was not exactly pleasant either as no one likes dependency. Kristen April 20, AM. Is it weird if I say your eyes are really cool-looking? It probably is. But I think both of your eyes are very pretty.

Also, this is a great post and your writing style is snarky and fantastic. Elsa S. Henry snarkbat April 20, AM. Not weird! I love my eye — in fact, I love it so much that when they steps in doing business plan me a scleral prosthetic to match the right one, I said no.

Kristen April 20, PM. Good call. Except I read a book once where one of the characters stored things like poisons and tiny explosives interesting creative writing jobs his prosthetic eye, so it would be a difficult choice to make. Henry snarkbat April 20, PM. Mozette April 20, AM. One — a chick — hated being told where everything was, how the day looked or exactly what was going on around her and depended research proposal writing questions on her guide dog.

He said he actually watched the movie as it unfolded instead of being given the highlights later on; he was watching it at the same time everyone else was.

At the time, I was dating an awful man and these two people could feel the tension between us. They tried to let him know that he should be treating me better. Being friends with these creative writing retreats uk has changed the way I see and treat people with disabilities.

Thank you so much for sharing this information with us! At one point in my childhood, I was convinced I was going blind and no one was telling me. I spent weeks creative writing about being blind around blindfolded and teaching myself Braille so I could shrug it off when my parents finally broke the news to me. I racked my clothing based on color and identified them with a pattern of safety pins so I could tell blue from green by touch alone.

No matter what, I was determined to remain independent and was kind of looking forward to the notion of having a guide dog. Much food for thought here. An excellent post. This is a great post. Thank you for offering to answer questions! You mentioned the ridiculous cost of using Braille in Daredevil. In a previous life I spent a lot of time doing just that — notes, and so on. You can talk to your phone and it takes notes for you. Additional perspectives would be amazing, thank you!

And thank you, too, for the link. I have a congenitally blind character with no extraordinary abilities aside from being well-adjusted western kentucky mfa creative writing law school. I consider his visual impairment incidental to his role in the story, but I would like to be able to show more of his daily life.

Instead I became a fiction writer. I know about certain types of access for other needs in college quiet rooms for ADHD students during testing, for example. Are there any specific ones I should look into for visual impairment? Valerie April 20, AM. Rachael May 14, PM. I did the same thing. It is a relief that with all the other hurdles associated with blindness, chocolate eating has not been adversely affected. Tina Gower April 20, AM. Every year they have an open house for the puppy raisers and they do a simulated blindness exercise.

For a writer it sort of super amazing. Jenni C April 20, AM.

Creative writing about being blind

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Writing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for the craft of professional writing, including fiction, non-fiction, technical, scholarly, and commercial writing. It only takes a minute to sign up. I am currently working on a fantasy novel that is set in medieval times.

I created my world, started to write, and then bumped into a big problem. My MC is blind along with others of its race and I find it really hard to describe the people she meets without using visual clues. I know it is still possible to write in 3rd person and show how the people look that way, but I think it would be most immersive to describe everything from her point of view.

So my question is, what are tricks I can use to describe people? How can I make them different from each other without just saying things like 'the woman with the high pitched voice'? The setting is also in a world with magic, and she has some sort of magic that makes her able to 'sense' people, and 'see' stone.

Maybe that is of any help? You have a potentially rich world of non-visual sensations with which to play, and unique situations to explore! I actually envy you the potentially-rich experience of writing this! You have other senses sound or hearing; smell; feel or textural variations presuming your character[s] can or will touch each other, or those with whom they'll interact ; along with those very astute suggestions already provided!

I've an Israeli friend who was blinded in a terrorist bombing in the mids. He had participated in the martial art called Krav Maga. After becoming able to get about, again, he worked with his instructor and several students to perfect a "Blackout Krav Maga:".

It's amazing how one can zero in on others without needing sight people make noise all the time, whether simply the sound of the rush of air as they breathe stronger if winded or frightened! Actually, some people even carry on a continual whispered monologue! No, they're not barmy; this is their way of "thinking. In addition, what people wear as well as carry are also abundant sources of sounds.

Cordoroy, silk, and other fabrics make noise when surfaces rub together; leather and webbing accessories will almost always creak as one movessword baldrics or equipment belts; burden straps; shoulder-slings, and the like.

Also, the impacts of twigs or, underground, roots will make metallic noises when striking against helmets, plate-armour, shields, and such-like as the wearer moves along.

Plus, "personal items" can always make noise: Coins jingle in pouch or pocket; things analogous to ID tags can make noise necklace medallions, metallic charms, and other devices. Keys are also classic noisemakers the Seneshal or Bursar; a head servant like the more-contemporary butler, will carry keys as a "badge of office," and this can be seen by your character s as somebody like "'Mister Clink-clank,' the one who can get to the best wine and cheese!

Then, there are the thousands and thousands of different smells! This is something I've personally noticed: Different ethnic groups prefer to use different spices, and differently prepare often vastly-different types of foods, which in turn almost always makes "native" body-odours very different. In Victorian times, people simply assumed "different Races smelled differently;" well, people actually did but it was NOT because of genetics! It was simply "cultural," in the end.

There are also many other examples: Men who care for horses would smell like strong sweat, and the stables; blacksmiths will have a strong odour of coal- or charcoal-smoke, a strong aroma of sweat; and the "hot metal smell" that's peculiar to smiths. Butchers would wear the aromas of an abattoir or slaughterhouse, being the strong smells of old blood, offal, and incipient decay.

Cooks, of course, would be enveloped in food- and spice-smells. Turgeons or doctors going from historical human prototypes would stink of old pus and blood, herbal concoctions, smokes of herbs and grasses, [and despair.

Barkeeps would smell strongly of food, drink, smoke, and sweat. Barmaids possibly prostitutes too would smell of many liquors and beers, as well as many men; plus, probably, inexpensive perfume-herbs such as lavender and sweet-grass. Noble folk would be the ones heavily anointed with "expensive" floral scents such as rose-water or orange-blossom-water, as well as extracts of lavender, and other sweet-smelling herbs to cover their smells of sweat.

Probably, the "lordly types" would have stronger sweat-smells because of frequent sword-practice, and an undertone of sword-belt and blade-oil aroma. In the Middle Ages, many if not most "Nobs" and knights took part in daily sword-practice. The nobility may practice the Greco-Roman habit of "oiling" the body with olive-oil, followed by using a bronze or horn "stigil" to scrape off dirt, sweat, and excess oil this would put an olive-oil odour on these worthies.

Open your mind to think deeply, and you will realize that every profession or way of life found in the Middle Ages will have almost-unique "professional aromas! Combining some of the examples of "non-visual identification" in a sort of third-person narrative as in WATERSHIP DOWN allows you to create mental images of characters in the readers' minds every bit as memorable and impressive as any visual description!

Think about how your character distinguishes between people. Is it by footsteps, smell or knock? You need to work out how someone who is blind tells the difference. You could try asking a blind person. How can I make them different from each other without just saying things like 'the woman with the high pitched voice'.

Don't just describe a voice as high or low pitched. Your detailed description of a voice - its changes of pitch, rhythm, speed, pattern of breathing, hesitations, precise accent, individual quirks of pronunciation - is your opportunity to let the reader experience the world in the way that creatures of this blind race experience it.

Of course you should do the same for all the senses other than sight. If you can emphasise the differences between what a blind human would perceive and what a blind non-human of this race with the extra senses you mention would perceive, so much the better. An example of a book where something similar is done well is Watership Down by Richard Adams. The main characters are rabbits, and spend much of their time underground where they cannot see.

Adams describes how the rabbits sense how big an underground space is by the quality of the sound and the currents of air, how they greet each other by touching noses, and so on. One thing you might try: To give the reader a clue about how the MC distinguishes individuals, have the MC confuse two people.

Some signature movement as they step off a train; maybe a way of holding their body, an item of clothing they might have worn. So for your MC, maybe it would be a scent of the place where they first met the person, or maybe there is some other sense that humans don't have Dogs actually can't see all that well, and they recognize by smell and sound long before they can distinguish a person by sight.

Think of the way they freeze into that moment of recognition Maybe you don't describe the characters physically: you describe their personalities based upon their unique energies.

The reader will most likely form a mental picture of the character-- whether they've got a permanent pout on their face due to their exceedingly arrogant and condescending nature, or a great smile due to their sunny outlook on life. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top.

Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. How to describe people from the 'eyes' of a blind person? Ask Question. Asked 4 years, 8 months ago. Active 4 years, 8 months ago. Viewed 5k times. Noralie Noralie 4 4 silver badges 11 11 bronze badges. Active Oldest Votes. After becoming able to get about, again, he worked with his instructor and several students to perfect a "Blackout Krav Maga:" It's amazing how one can zero in on others without needing sight people make noise all the time, whether simply the sound of the rush of air as they breathe stronger if winded or frightened!

Fred Kerns Fred Kerns 1 1 silver badge 1 1 bronze badge. Wow, what an amazing answer! I am honoured to help, Noralie!

And it was no trouble at all for me to come up with those scenarios. You also gave me the idea to go and sit in a busy place, close my eyes and then try to decribe the people around me by their aounds and smells. Mitchell S. Mitchell 6, 1 1 gold badge 15 15 silver badges 29 29 bronze badges. Unfortunately I don't really know any blind people. Noralie Blind people use computers too. There are voice inputs, screen readers and braille keyboards. You just have to find them and take your time figuring out how to ask them what you need to know without offending them.

You can search for things like "blind ergonomics computer" or "blind forum computer". There are even sites devoted to computer games for the blind. If your portrayal is good enough, then they may end up as part of your fan base. People want to read about people like themselves, especially in areas which are undoubtedly under represented.

How can I make them different from each other without just saying things like 'the woman with the high pitched voice' Don't just describe a voice as high or low pitched. Lostinfrance Lostinfrance 2, 6 6 silver badges 19 19 bronze badges. Think of when you see someone, and for a moment you think they are someone else Good luck! Deau X. Machinus Deau X. Machinus 4 4 silver badges 9 9 bronze badges. Seeing it on TV is one thing, but reading a really good description of what that really feels like would be fascinating.

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A shattered life now replaces what was once a promising future for all concerned. Sorting out, picking up and piecemealing a new life together best describes my newfound existence. A glorious and jovial existence it is not. Being defeated and broken by this test of life is not an option I consider or give place to. There is a reason we as human beings face different trials in our lives. Quite possibly there is a master plan for all of us.

We all face situations, circumstances, and events in our lives that are not to our liking, choosing, or understanding. In my situation, I am not to question why…. I am but to do or die. No applause please. I heard that phrase somewhere. It speaks volumes to be such a short order of words. There are many people I have found from all walks of life that share my circumstances; both men, women, young, and old alike.

I do find some solace and comfort in knowing that I am not alone or indifferent in my struggle. Others do share the same burden. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly.

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Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. This part of the process is much more visual than the initial typing: I am both reader and writer of my text and therefore tend to do what I do best: I focus on the detail.

When I look at my work on screen I can see at best three or four words at a time. This is why I favour short sentences.

I need to write in a way which I can follow. Long convoluted sentences, cleverly complicated arguments and beautifully-crafted paragraphs are all very well, but they tend to confuse me. I need my writing to be simple, straightforward and to the point.

Otherwise I will get lost in the detail and never find my way out. It is rare for an academic to favour simplicity of style. I used to worry that fellow academics would think my work too basic or banal because of its straightforward expression. In fact I do deal with complex ideas and theories, but I break them down into manageable chunks, not for the brain, but for the eyes.

As I become more confident as a writer, especially as a writer of blog posts whose shortness seems to suit my telegrammatic style I realise that I am happy that the way I write is defined by my blindness. This helps to remind me, and, I hope, others, that blindness does not have to be a tragedy, a burden or a curse. When its power is embraced, it can become a different way of being in the world, a creative force, and personal and political stance.

Visit her blog hannah-thompson. Tags: blind writers , featured. But you always do everything with detail so as excellent work will be sure output.. In the 80s I was a certified Braille transcriber — A book maker! It was back in the time where we were just on the edge of computerizing everything but not quite there yet.

I had a group of volunteer transcribers who, page by page, transcribed text by hand using Perkins braillewriters. There was a quote that I always liked, despite its sappiness. It is attributed to Jim Fiebig not sure who he was.

Thank you for sharing this post and your experiences writing with partial blindness. It has given me something to think about and a different perspective on the writing process. What I found most interesting is that when I considered your perspective I concluded that indeed as a sighted person, I can at times be blind to important detail. I will now pay closer attention. I am also a little jealous that you can still work with your cat sitting between you and the computer screen.

Hannah, you articulate an approach to reading and writing that resonates with me. You mentioned that, because of your vision, you favor short sentences. This reminds me of my own endeavors in writing braille poetry. Because the braille line is so much shorter than the print line, only holding about 40 characters, the poet who writes in braille must creatively manipulate line breaks.

But as you know, in braille, one word can be represented by a single character, and this lends a different poetic effect to the words produced. I rely heavily on text-to-speech software for editing my own work. As I encourage my students to read their own work aloud, I often find myself telling them how to activate the text-to-speech functions on their own computers. A text-to-speech program is much less forgiving than the self-correcting effort of the writer who reads her own work aloud!

In this case, the perspective offered by my blindness — the tools I MUST use — suggests an unexpected and helpful measure to my sighted students.

33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters

Jul 10,  · Do not- not even once- either state or imply that a blind person's other senses "become better" or "expand". It's utter nonsense, and it will annoy the life out of your less uninformed readers. First, very, very few people are completely blind. T. @Noralie Blind people use computers too. (There are voice inputs, screen readers and braille keyboards.) You just have to find them and take your time figuring out how to ask them what you need to know without offending them. You can search for things like "blind ergonomics computer" or "blind . Apr 20,  · Being blind or visually impaired is on a spectrum of not seeing, rather than being a static condition. Hey! I found this an amazing resource. I’m writing a blind character (yes, trauma blind, bc I’m a bit of a sadist) and I really worry about making him realistically blind but not totally helpless. I’ve used Toph as a major base for.

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