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My character is blind. Is my story doomed?

Forums Fiction Characters My character is blind. Is my story doomed?

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  • #32959
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    I’m thinking of resurrecting a story I nearly threw away last fall. However, the story is told in first person and my main character is blind.

    The catch is, she’s not blind for the entire story. Part of her story goal is to find a certain device that can fix her eyes. At the beginning of the story, she has a device that allows her to see dim shapes and dull colors, but nothing perfectly clear. But for several scenes, she can’t see at all.

    My question: is this a terrible idea? Especially if I’m telling the story in first person from her point of view?


    @gabriellepollack
    @daeus-lamb @snapper @dekreel @elizabeth @sam-kowal @josiah @anyone

     

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #32970
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    @morreafirebird If the question is: “Is it a bad idea to have a blind protagonist as the viewpoint character?”, I would say definitely not. I really like that idea, to be honest. Now, I don’t envy your task in figuring out how to write that. πŸ˜› But it seems like a great way to explore a different kind of POV, as well as a great opportunity to put the reader in someone else’s shoes once you figure out how to capture this sort of viewpoint!

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #32977
    Quinn O’Fallon
    @quinn-ofallon

    @morreafirebird You should totally resurrect that story–it’s a really cool idea, especially with a first-person narrator. There’s so much potential in that unique of a narrator and point of view. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I’d love to read it if you finish it!

    #33004
    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal

    @morreafirebird Nope. I’m not entirely sure about first person, but someone was recently telling me about a book in the Song of Albion where the POV character was blind for the most part, and how it was really interesting to get the story through other senses.

    Definitely, you’re chopping off a major avenue to describe senses and description, but you can always replace sight with better sound/feel. I think it would be pretty interesting. Best of luck if you go ahead with it πŸ˜‰

    *nom, nom, nom* *eats donuts*
    Oh, are you hungry? *begins weeping*
    I would have saved you one!

    #33073
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @josiah thanks! XD I wrote a rough draft in October, and the chapters where she was blind were…interesting, to say the least, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t entirely crazy πŸ˜›


    @quinn-ofallon
    thank you! I’m really considering working on it again soon πŸ˜€


    @sam-kowal
    hm, I’ll have to check that out. My biggest concern is how to get the reader grounded in the setting if my character can’t accurately see it, but she does have dreams where she can sees, so that might make it easier.

    Thanks for your help!

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #33100
    Sarah Inkdragon
    @sarah-inkdragon

    What! I found someone else with a blind/visually impaired MC! Yay! (Okay, calm down.)

    I also have a WIP with an MC that is “blind”. He’s not truly blind, but he has to hide his eye color(not telling why) and therefore wears a blindfold for nearly the whole book, making writing scenes and such very difficult. (I also have a mute character in another book… *sighs* I have to many ideas.)

    Honestly, I think characters with disabilities are amazing. They’re some of my favorite to read. But they are hard to write.

    Some things that I did was have switching POVs, so that we see things from other character’s POVs as well and not just a lengthy description of sounds/smells etc. And, I gave my character a companion. I don’t know what genre your story is(I’m assuming fantasy/sci-fi since you mentioned a device to help your MC see.) but I write fantasy, so it’s perfectly acceptable to throw in telepathic seeing-eye horses. Even if you don’t do that, you could give your character a cat, robot, dog, or even just a device that senses body heat/etc to help them get around.

    Another thing that was mentioned above by a few people was increased hearing/sensitivity. It is true that most blind people do have better hearing/touch than other people, because they use it so get around.

    One last thing I’m going to mention is reaction. How long has your character been blind? Her whole life? A month? A week? A day? When someone first becomes blind, they don’t pick up on things easily and start walking around three days later. They’re scared, a lot of times they’re afraid to get out of bed/go outside. They bump into things, freak out(like any normal human would), have panic attacks, some get PTSD from whatever caused the blindness, etc. So just make sure your character isn’t fine with being blind. Even if they gave up their sight voluntarily to save someone else’s life/sight, they should still be frustrated, angry, confused, and hurt. Of course, it’s different if your character has been blind from birth/young age.

    And lastly, I’m going to mention that when someone becomes blind and stays that way, they begin to forget colors, faces, etc. This can cause them to freak out, and is also a good way to add to a character’s motivations/fears/needs. They become more dependent on people, and even the loudest people often become quiet and withdrawn when blind. Since they can’t see, they also become hesitant when conversing because they can’t read facial expressions/body language any more.

    I hope this helped! It was a rather long comment… anyhow, I’d love to hear more about your blind MC, and if you have anything you want to ask about(since we both love our blind MCs) just tag me/send me a message and I’d love to chat. πŸ˜‰

    Happy writing!

    "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

    - C. S. Lewis

    #33101
    Sam Kowal
    @sam-kowal

    @morreafirebird I actually had a friend who wrote a story with a blind MC, although this was a character who had been blind for years.

    At that point, the character’s other senses had all dramatically increased. The character could hear the shuffling scrape of a stubby broom over rough brick, smell the scent of sweat mixed with leather on one person and grass and flowers on another, and feel the faint breeze as someone with a sweeping cape strode by.

    It was actually really easy to imagine and super interesting to read about, although my friend did have to stretch the blind MC’s other senses to a really adept level and also give them a great sense of perception to guess what they were sensing, but it did feel grounded, to me anyway

    *nom, nom, nom* *eats donuts*
    Oh, are you hungry? *begins weeping*
    I would have saved you one!

    #33120
    Allison Grace
    @allison-grace

    @morreafirebird I actually really like the idea! One of my favorite characters on TV was blinded, but of course, it wasn’t told from his POV. I think it would be very cool, particularly with the scenes she can’t see. Then you can show us what she “sees” with her senses. What she feels, smells, tastes… So, I like it. Do it!

    "I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson

    #33127
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @sarah-inkdragon no way! *high-five* I’m glad I’m not the only one with a blind MC πŸ˜€ And I actually have a mute character in the same series (it’s part of the theme in how God uses our weaknesses).

    Thank you so much for all of this info! I’m only on the first draft, so I haven’t researched any of this, haha! But my MC (her name is Teneya) has been blind her entire life. And she does have a telepathic panther who helps her around.. until something happens to it πŸ˜› I’m wondering if I made her too bold though, as she’s a pretty feisty character. But I guess the difference is that she can sort of see: just vague shapes and objects. Right now the story is only from her POV, but I’m debating having her brother’s POV in there as well. Or including more dreams, as that’s the only time she can see.

    How long has your character been blind?

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #33129
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @sam-kowal that’s good to know! My MC did have some pretty strong senses, though I think I can make them even more so. Thanks for your thoughts πŸ˜€


    @allison-grace
    Oooh, yeah! After hearing everyone’s thoughts here, I think I’m definitely going to keep working with the idea. It’s also interesting because she sees for the first time in her dreams…and dreams are illegal where she lives, so lots of conflict XD

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #33131
    WarrenLuther04
    @warrenluther04

    @morreafirebird This sounds awesome! I think that this would be a very interesting storyline! πŸ˜€


    @allison-grace
    *suspicious sneeze* This is who I think it is, huh? You finished Jedi Night right? So you know that he got his vision back? *realizes that I might have just spoiled the whole plotline* *sneezes*

    House Vizsla, Clan Avis
    Member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Phoenix Squadron
    ENFJ-T

    #33132
    Sarah Inkdragon
    @sarah-inkdragon

    Well, @morreafirebird, he’s not techniquely blind, as I mentioned above, but he’s been forced to wear a slightly see-through blindfold for pretty much his entire life, so that no one can see his eyes. The story is actually a serial story/novel that I’ll be posting chapters on my blog to come August.

    I like the idea of a telepathic panther. That’s cool. My MC has a horse because he gets banished and needs a way to get around, and because the horse is a secret childhood friend that he has been protecting from the government/king. (Because, apparently, telepathic horses are rarity and should be captured and enslaved at any price.)

    πŸ˜‰

    "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

    - C. S. Lewis

    #33154
    Allison Grace
    @allison-grace

    @morreafirebird Oh! Cool! I like this idea even more!


    @warrenluther04
    Β Yes! However did you guess? XD

    "I cannot live without books." -Thomas Jefferson

    #33202
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @warrenluther04 @allison-grace thanks πŸ˜€


    @sarah-inkdragon
    Ooh, right. I’m really curious why he has to cover his eyes…do you have a link to your blog? I’d love to read the story when you start posting it!

    And I’d want a telepathic horse too πŸ˜‰

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #33246
    Sarah Inkdragon
    @sarah-inkdragon

    @morreafirebird My blog is at http://www.sarahansonsite.wordpress.com

    "A hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head."

    - C. S. Lewis

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