How to Use Sight in the Story

The five basic elements that make your fictional story interesting and lively are sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. In its own way, each sense is beneficial and used in different ways.  When it is associated effectively with a story, it could provide the reader a complete and whole new pleasurable experience.

Kristina Stanley from Fictionary joins us in this episode to explain how to effectively use the element of sight in crafting a story.

We are moving along through our settings, and one of the important things we’re going to talk about today are the five senses and how we use those in our writing, and we make sure that we’re using them effectively. We’re going to start with sight, and I’m gonna let you walk us through sights, what it is, how it works, what’s the importance of it, so carry on.

Sight is obviously one of the senses, we’re going to cover these individually, so that we can keep the video short for one, but also so that every writer, they have their own perception of where they need help or not, and so they can pick and choose through the senses because they all are used in a different way, and they all have different pitfalls for a writer.


Sight in the Point-of-view character

We’re going to look at those things one by one. And today it’s sight. And we’re going to talk about sight in the context of the point of view of the character, and how you can use sight from the point of view of the character’s viewpoint, obviously, on what they see.

Let’s just jump back to point of view for a second. When you choose a point-of-view character for a scene, or maybe for your entire book, it’s a promise to the reader that everything they experience will be from that character’s senses, and so that means today we’re talking about sight. If your point of view character cannot see something, you as the writer cannot describe that thing. From their point of view using sight. That doesn’t mean you can’t describe it using sound, they heard something behind them, so they can hear it, they can’t see it, smell, touch, someone taps on your shoulder, but you don’t know who it is. So you can’t say, Hey, Bob, because you don’t know. So very careful with each of the senses, but what we’re talking about today is sight. The point of view character can’t see it. He can’t describe it.

Using Sight In the Best Way

There are different ways that sight can help your story move forward. One of them is you can use sight when a new character is introduced, you can have one character, as the point of view character, describe another person using sight, and a good time to use this is, say a character has been in a scene for a while, and the reader might forget who they are, you can use the point of view character sight to describe something about that reader.

For example, there’s some really hot dude that has charcoal eyes. And he hasn’t been in a scene for a while. But the first time he introduced to me used charcoal eyes to unique color for eyes. And then the point of view character could be Hey, it’s the guy with the charcoal eyes, and so right away, the reader is like, “oh yeah, I remember” and makes it easy for the reader. And they don’t have to think about who is this guy who just came in this scene. You can also use it to describe an object that’s important to the point of view character. So if there is something in a scene that’s important, try describing it in a roundabout way.

Describing Directly and Indirectly

Let’s use a dog. There’s a dog in the room, instead of saying the dog was large, over 120 pounds, at least, like okay, big dog. But if that dog is particularly important to the character, or the story, how about something like the dog jumped onto the couch, its head rested on one end, and its tail wags on the other. The spring squeaked and the couch sagged in the middle, as the dog wiggled itself into a comfortable position.

So now we’ve told the reader, holy moly, this dog is the size of the couch, a big dog,it takes a few more words, but if it’s important to the story, that there’s a big dog, it’s better to do it this way, and let the reader visualize it. And when a reader visualizes something, they see it, and they’re more likely to remember it. Versus yeah, there’s a big dog that’s 120 pounds. Use a few more words, and when it’s not let it go by quickly that is in there, and you’re on spot. Moving on.

The Two Things to consider

We’ve got a big dog, how are we going to go through our onus manuscript here and use the sense of sight how we’re going to apply this and check for this, I guess, to make sure we’re doing it, okay?

There’s two things that need to be done here. One, of course, is you want to keep track here comes your list of the senses that you use in the scene, and all of the senses. From a big picture point of view, what you’re looking for is, “do I use all five senses? Or do I tend to favor only sight or only smell or something?” You want to look for a balance and look for different ways to use your senses. And we’ll talk about each of them in-depth on how to use them. But at the end of this, you want to look and make sure you’re using all of the senses to get the most value from them, and then once you look at your senses individually, so for sight, when you know you’ve used sight, you want to just check, “did you use it in the most effective way? So are you using it as the dog example? What’s 120 pounds? Or you’re describing? Because it’s important? So you’re asking yourself, what did the character see? And is it important?” Yes, a little bit more description, not really cut it, or less description.

Knowing what’s important to the character

It’s also giving us a little bit more to understand the feelings and emotions and the inside of this person. Because there’s a lot more going on when you see the dog slumping in little pouch because it’s showing characterization as well, right? Then what your character notices and thinks on clearly important to that character, because they actually saw it. And if you think of you go to a party with your spouse, and you leave the party and you talk about the party. You both mentioned different things because you bring different experiences into the party.

What you see is important to you. And you remember that what your spouse sees them and they remember that and that happens. And stories going to show characterization of what is important or not important to the point of view character.

Well, thank you so much for letting us go through our scenes. Again, again, increasing our list, make sure that we stay on top of the 38 story elements. We’ll be back with the other four elements of Sight, Sound, and all of those fun things.

Thank you so much for joining us again today, Kristina. It’s always a pleasure. I hope everyone’s enjoying this and please follow us. Subscribe and share with any of your friends who could use a little bit of this information for their own.





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