By Cait Collins
I was once asked which one of my senses I would be willing to give up. The choice was mine. Did I want to live without my sight, my hearing, the sense of smell, taste or touch? I didn’t know how to respond then, and I don’t know how I would answer now.
I cannot imagine not seeing another sunrise or watching kids make snow angels. I’d miss the fall colors and baby smiles. Imagine going through life and not hearing the gentle rain fall, the voice of a loved one, a child’s laughter. How I love the smell of fresh baked cookies and the scents of the forest on a spring day. What if I could not taste the spicy bite of my sister’s enchiladas or the slight bitterness of dark chocolate? Touch might be an obvious choice, but then again I’d never feel the downy softness of a rose petal or the feathery paper birch bark as I peel it from the tree trunk. The choice is more difficult because I’ve been blessed to have all my senses. I know what I would be missing.
Test your writing skills. Your protagonist regains consciousness following an accident. He cannot (see, hear, smell, taste, or feel). You select the lost sense. How does the character react to the news? Is the loss temporary or permanent? What ordeals and obstacles are faced and battled on the road to recovery? Try writing the scenes with each of the senses and note the differences in response and recovery depending on the missing sense.
Enjoy the exercise.