Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

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StrangerBaird
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Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby StrangerBaird » Wed May 03, 2006 12:39 pm


StrangerBaird
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Posts: 2321
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:10 am

Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby StrangerBaird » Wed May 03, 2006 12:39 pm

 The thread I posted on the Writer's Block Party forum caused confusion...but I've been recommended to pose the question as a writing challenge.

Take a character to a new place (i.e. a strange forest, a lake at midnight) and focus on what they experience using some sense primarily of the five main sensory experiences besides sight. Detail may include visual cues, but focus on either kinetic, auditory, or aromatic (smell or taste) cues. They are perceiving...how do they perceive primarily in that one sense?

 My personal efforts to do this are in first person. Some other people have mentioned handicapped characters, or animals perceiving.  I will post my own try later. Have at it!

pvinlskallinda
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RE: Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby pvinlskallinda » Wed May 03, 2006 1:42 pm

 Life

I can no longer feel the noon-day sun burn my skin as I enter the forest, shaded by hundred year old oaks. Wild blackberry bushes scrape my thigh and the underbrush touches my exposed legs and arms with the damp, cool touch of folliage still moist from the morning dew.  Pine needles pad the path as they fill my nostrils with their pungent scent. Fallen tree limbs cracks behind me, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.  The eyes of unseen preditors watch as I stumble through the thicket. My first instinct is to run, but the path is far too treacherous. Stone outcropings block my every turn causing me to retrace my previous steps.  Finally a clearing, the fresh scent of wild flowers overtake me and releases any caution of exposure, as I make my way out into the open. A lark flits across the meadow calling his forlorn warning that I have just entered a place where even the strongest buck doesn't linger. I weep with such sorrow that belies my existance, beyond the boundaries of common sense.


SteveBooth
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RE: Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby SteveBooth » Sat May 06, 2006 7:51 am

I decided to do nothing relating to fantasy, so here is my contribution.  See if you can guess who the prey is!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Snar padded softly through the loose sand, his great paws sinking deeply into the giving substance.  He was on the prowl.  Leader had warned of intruders in the swift air part of the region, and he was more alert than normal.  It was dusk, that time when he was most at an advantage over those that would encroach on the pride’s territory.  The wind turned in his direction.  Immediately he faced into it, nostrils flared.  There was something, yes.  It was not afraid.  It did not have the shiny hoof-smell of food, it was the sultry hair-smell of an interloper.  His innate memory told him it was, probably a slinky.

He roared.  Not the overarching roar of challenge, it was the low, guttural sound that told the rest of his pride he had sensed an intruder.  Pricking his ears back he was rewarded by the swish-sounds of three, no four of his brothers and sisters coming to his aid.  He heard them padding through the veldt, none being so careless as to break a ground-branch or brush against a sage.

Moving his head back and forth Snar zeroed in on the correct direction, and increased his pace to a jog.  There would be fresh kill tonight.  Suddenly he froze and dropped instantly to the ground, detecting movement in the trees to the west.  Yes, the wind betrayed the slinky.  He was in the brush at the base of the trees.  Focusing both ears forward he concentrated on the trees.  Yes!  There was the telltale brush of an errant branch against back-fur.  And there again!  The impetuous slinky had broken a twig.  It would soon be over.

He sensed warmth coming from behind him at a distance.  Rotating one ear he confirmed that three of his pride were silently approaching from the rear.  He didn’t need to communicate where the prey was.  They already knew.  Grow instinctively moved right, flanking the intruder, while Cut, Pad, and Frisk crouched low to the ground behind him, readying to attack.  He heard Grow halt quickly in the grass, and drop.  Soon he would make his move.

Snar focused again on the slinky in the trees.  It had sensed something was wrong.  Its odor betrayed its rising fear and panic.  Yes, time to finish this.  He heard Grow break into a full run to the far right.  He instinctively ran not directly at the slinky, but was attempting to circle him and come from behind.  The scent from the slinky was rife with fear and panic now.  It would soon make its final blunder.

Yes!  The slinky had cast all pretense of stealth to the wind and was fleeing Grow, crashing through the underbrush, and was headed directly at them.  Grow had flushed him perfectly.  Snar remained completely still and silent, hidden in the high grass until the slinky was only three jumps away.  Gathering into his massive haunches, Snar leapt from the grass followed closely by Pad and Frisk.  In three magnificent bounds he was on the slinky.  It would never again encroach on pride territory… nor any other territory for that matter.


StrangerBaird
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RE: Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby StrangerBaird » Sat May 06, 2006 3:41 pm

Wow, Steve. That's pretty cool. I'm not sure how intelligent of a guess I can make, but is the prey a fox? I wasn't exactly clear on the preditor either...
Here's one of my latest passages in the story. Pretty self contained, though it starts on page 319. Primary senses are smell and sound...but my performance is far from flawless.


When we came out of the unimportant north gate, I immediately understood part of the bland impression of the city behind us. As soon as we left it, the richer dirt, trees, and livestock of the pastures and farms aside of the road brought their airs and scents to us, and the clarity of the wind (behind which our minds added that spectral whisper) welcomed us. The city had been only smelling of dust, and men. Even their garbage was carted to a corner off which the hill steeply dove and left to rot there--their shrines were littered, too, with accurately painted clay offerings, unlike the wood and real objects in those of other places. Nothing but the suppressing powder-smell of dust and sun-warmed stone ever greeted one on its streets. Even Siros Dalris, with its filth and clamor, was pleasantly alive, compared with this city. I breathed in deeply, glad merely to be out of the still pallor of Manos.
The others grew more talkative as we came out. Balat conferred with Haraih, as he had with me, and she agreed with everything he said, as she could only do. Both of them turned their eyes to the country surrounding for opportunity to be apparent. Nothing seemed to present itself for action but to be ready.
...
"Good evening."
Balat's voice drew our eyes to the man before us on the road. He had bundled up branches and held it it upon one shoulder as he trudged out onto the road from a small knot of trees beside it.
"Aye," was the indifferent reply.
"We seek somewhere to do work in return for board, about these farms. do you know of anyone willing to take hired hands?"
...
"Can you point us toward one such house?" Haraih intervened, as Balat seemed content to let the man be.
"Down this way, I'll walking near the Draftsprings. That'll do?"
We followed him with as much accepting thanks as he looked to endure.
...
It was growing dark now, the sweetness of fresh earth cooling rising about us. Stars hung to the breath of night at the further reaches of the sky, while behind us I could sense the reigning approach of that dearest moon. Sighing came from the scattered trees, sprung up behind the hill of the city, and chirping of the crickets creaked with them, so satisfyingly alive and rich, lie a balm like cold water rinsing the dust from around our eyes, out from our nostrils.
"There is. Draftspring hearth. Don't know if they'll welcome you, but that's what you seek."
"Thank you. Master's blessing," said Balat. The man's heavy steps went on, and we turned to a red-veined window set in a dark shadow against the sky. There was a murmur about the place, and the sharp rot of cow-pasturing beside it. Then Balat said,
"Stay here. I'll go first to question...I don't want to overwhelm them."
So we paused together, suspended in the cool dark of the approach, and then Balat was knocking, and framed against the bent bulk of the answering man. Words were exchanged, flowing in the scale of greeting, brash and tuneful; then the lower pitching and rising of questions (not all Balat's) and the descending answers. Then Balat turned and came toward us, now shaped in the hearth-light from the door.

SteveBooth
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RE: Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby SteveBooth » Sat May 06, 2006 5:25 pm

Cool, Baird!  I like your concept.  I am, personally a third-person .. um  'person' lol... as you can tell from my peice above.  The story is that of a pride of lions stalking an intruding jackal actually :)

This isn't the Critique section, so I'm not sure if you want me to make suggestions on your excellent submission, so I'll refrain unless you request same.

G'Day!

Steve


StrangerBaird
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RE: Character Experiences ~non-visual description~

Postby StrangerBaird » Mon May 08, 2006 4:24 am

Please do! Always open to being enlightened to problems...


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