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Exercise Wednesday: Blind

January 28, 2015

I was sick this week, so I did what all first-world sick people do in the 21st century: jumped on Netflix. This time, I watched The Rockford Files. In one of the episodes, Jim has to protect a blind psychiatrist named Megan Dougherty from someone who’s terrorizing her. In the early parts of the episode, someone sneaks up on her in the hall outside her office, at night when no one else is around, and starts pawing at her. In a later part, someone gets into her apartment and re-arranges the furniture.

Think about that for a minute. You’re completely blind and you have your apartment arranged so you can walk wherever you need to without bumping into things and someone re-arranges your furniture. Think about the terror of that situation. Think about how afraid you’d be if someone violated your sanctuary and turned it from a familiar place of safety to a strange, scary place of danger and fear. And you couldn’t see anything.


We’re told that when someone loses one of her senses, the other senses tend to make up for that loss. Except maybe in a crisis.

Today’s exercise could be a crisis for you as a writer. Today, your character has to confront a crisis, but has to cope using one less than the normal five senses. But the lost sense has to be material. That is, you can’t put the person in a completely dark cave and say she’s blind.

This challenge will test your ability to tell the story without an important sense.

Time limit: 30 minutes


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