Book Sense: Touch

28 Nov

Welcome to part two of the Book Sense series. Yesterday I talked about sound, today I want to talk about touch.

Here are the four I want to focus on today:

  • Character-to-character connection
  • Feel of an unknown item
  • Touch-induced emotions
  • Temperature sensations

Yet again, please add more in the comments as you see fit.

Character-to-character connection: This is probably the most important use of this sense I can think of. The feel of a friend’s hand on your shoulder, a creepy stranger’s bump against your hip, or a lover’s caress of the hair are all very important ways of experiencing touch in writing. It drives relationships and, thus, plot.

Feel of an unknown item: I have fantasy writing in mind when I think of this. I know what a wool blanket feels like. I don’t know what a blanket feels like when it’s made from the hair of a fictional llama-bird. When something is not commonly known, a description of it is very helpful to build a fictional world and physical touch description should be a part of that.

Touch-induced emotions: I talked about sounds that evoke memories yesterday and this falls into the same category. I also think a touch can induce an emotion. Personally, slipping into a pool to swim laps is one of the most calming things I can imagine. Once I’m underwater, I’m instantly at peace. I think slipping into bed can have the same effect. These shouldn’t be very common but they can be used well.

Temperature sensations: Changes in temperature are very noticeable so characters should experience them as well. Walking in on a winter day has an instant warming effect. Being outside after a run can start to feel cold in November (personal experience). Change in seasons or time of day can be marked with temperature instead of overt statements and I believe this is one that can be used frequently and still be effective.

There we are! Are there any other touch sensations you think are important (or overused) in writing? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

4 Responses to “Book Sense: Touch”

  1. Aislynn d'Merricksson November 28, 2017 at 12:40 PM #

    I don’t see too often where touch is a character’s dominate sense. It seems to be sight more often than not. As a person legally, if not true, blind, I function very much by touch, followed by sound. I can see, but even with glasses, there is much to be desired in visual quality :/

    Like

    • Sam November 28, 2017 at 4:25 PM #

      Do you find that touch description in a book helps you connect with the setting or character? I wanted to do this series to focus on the senses I feel are neglected most in writing. Is your experience that there is a need for more sight description? Happy reading!!

      Like

  2. Abbey | threecatsandagirl November 30, 2017 at 12:37 AM #

    I liked the sense of sound, but touch is a really good one too. It’s not used as much as sound I don’t think!!
    (Side note, I had originally typed out a comment the day you posted this and then it glitched and deleted it☹️)

    Like

    • Sam November 30, 2017 at 7:13 AM #

      Glad you solved your glitch! I think certain parts of touch are used more than others, but there’s room to add more for sure. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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