July 1, 2009 Developing our sense of Touch
Several of you mentioned that touch is a hard sense for you to put into your writing. So, of course, I thought about that, and I came up with a fun experiment for all of us to try. Even if we don’t always see the touch or hear the sound, it occurred to me that those two are connected–you can’t have one without the other. At least I haven’t come up with an instance yet, but I wouldn’t mind if someone proved me wrong. I haven’t done a textbook study, so, yes, dear friends, this is physics of the senses ala Clara.
Touch creates sounds. Motion suggests touch and sound. You drop something on the floor and the sound it creates depends on the object you drop and the surface it hits. Crash! Boom! Bang! Thud. Thump. Crackle. Splatter. Boing. Plink. Plop. It’s even more fun to make up our own sound word based on what the object touches. Writers do it all the time. Often we get away with it, and it's really cool to see a word in print that we've made up.
For the rest of the week, right through the sound-tastic fireworks on the 4th of July, keep your notebook handy to record the sensory perceptions of touch and the precise subsequent sound. Touch doesn’t have to be just something you are touching with your fingers. Touch and sound are all around. If you have kids, get them involved, too. If you don't have kids, grab some friends. Can you come up with more touch/sounds than they can? Okay, writing scientists we’re off on an adventure of touch & sound discovery. Have a safe & happy 4th!