We’ve almost covered all five senses now – except for the very last: touch.
The sense of touch is powerful, and like most senses can go in either a positive or negative direction, depending on the person doing the touching and the person receiving that touch.
Think about positive forms of touching first: shaking hands, hugging, kissing, patting someone on the back for a job well done, high-fiving, or just politely passing an object to someone who requests it. These are typically considered good forms of touch.
Of course, there are also negative forms of touching: slapping someone’s hand or face, pushing and shoving, kicking, biting, groping someone’s genitals, or even worse can all be considered bad kinds of touch.
Think about what kind of person your character is. Would they be more likely to be caught in the act of giving (or receiving) positive or negative touches? Why?
The sense of touch can also relay important information. For instance, a character who is blind may be able to read Braille, which is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers. Touch typists can also use the raised edges on their computer’s home keys to help them type without looking at the keys. A hot stove may warn you away with its heat – or you may get burned if you slap your hand down on top of it.
What are some other ways that people receive information by touching objects or people?
A good exercise for developing your sense of touch is to close your eyes and run your hands over a specific object. You might try this with a partner, who can hand you something without telling you what it is, and you’ll have to guess. Describe the feel of the object: is it slippery and smooth, rough, furry, feathery? Is it hot or cold? Dry or wet? Are there any hard edges, or is it completely soft? Is it pliable in your hands, or does it refuse to conform to anything else?
Think about all of the things your character could be touching in your setting, the things they should be touching, and anything they definitely should not be touching. What kinds of consequences come from touching these various objects – or from touching people without their permission?
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