synesthesia

I like the sound of that word.

I’ve also always liked how synesthesia works in writing. Practicing synesthesia is like a jolt from a high-octane energy drink. Your writing boosts off your page and pings off the nearest star, smelling of thunder and yelling red.

Ooh. That last phrase was delicious. Notice the synesthesia? I used smell for thunder instead of sound, and I used sound for red instead of sight. I mixed up the expected senses.

What does a baby’s smile sound like? How does a gravestone taste? What smell marks your anxiety?

Now, literary synesthesia is one thing–pretty straightforward and a helpful writing tool. Actual synesthesia is much more complex–I’m fascinated by what I’ve learned just from the Wikipedia entry. I wonder how I would negotiate the world if I were a synesthete with color-graphemic synesthesia (letters and numbers have colors) or chromesthesia (sounds or music trigger colors).

Sounds like a helluva writing prompt. Go to the Wikipedia page, pick a form of synesthesia, and then write a descriptive passage through the lens of that form of synesthesia. May your creativity bounce through clouds.

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