Topic: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

One of my reviewers says the POV character can't "see" himself turn beet red (ignore mirrors), therefore it should be wriiten something like "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Personally, I know when I turn beet red (blush severely) and don't need a mirror to tell me so.

Thanks

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Yes. Absolutely. I mean you can't really feel a color but you know darn well what you look like when it's happening.

Bimmy

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Definitely. Your question falls into the same category as "white as a sheet", "green with envy", "Purple with anger" and "blue with sadness". In actuality, I can feel myself flushing, which is the act of bringing blood to the surface of your skin. That makes it red.

~Tom

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Thank you, both.

5 (edited by Charles_F_Bell 2016-08-15 08:48:15)

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Norm d'Plume wrote:

One of my reviewers says the POV character can't "see" himself turn beet red (ignore mirrors), therefore it should be wriiten something like "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Personally, I know when I turn beet red (blush severely) and don't need a mirror to tell me so.

Thanks

"beet red" is never literally true as "green with envy" is not actual, so one can't in reality "feel" a metaphor; felt the blood rush to my face is both literal and 100% first-person POV.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Norm d'Plume wrote:

One of my reviewers says the POV character can't "see" himself turn beet red (ignore mirrors), therefore it should be wriiten something like "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Personally, I know when I turn beet red (blush severely) and don't need a mirror to tell me so.

Thanks

I think as writers we're allowed to take some liberties. Can one feel himself turn "beet" red. Probably not necessarily the beet kind of red- but who cares? When written this way, the reader knows exactly how the character feels. So much more poetic than "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Dull!
Unless you want to leach the fun prose out of your writing and have it sound like a manual on how to define the stock-market (or something equally boring) using beet red is fine! As long as you get the point across to the reader.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Thank you, CJ. Funny thing, I used to work on Wall Street. tongue

I agree absolutely. Blood rose into his cheeks is boring and in this case confusing. I can't tell if the character is embarrassed or angry. I have another one: he gave her a dirty look. I know when I'm doing it even though I can't see it. The latter has a good alternative: he glared at her.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

C J Driftwood wrote:
Norm d'Plume wrote:

One of my reviewers says the POV character can't "see" himself turn beet red (ignore mirrors), therefore it should be wriiten something like "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Personally, I know when I turn beet red (blush severely) and don't need a mirror to tell me so.

Thanks

I think as writers we're allowed to take some liberties. Can one feel himself turn "beet" red. Probably not necessarily the beet kind of red- but who cares?

When written this way, the reader knows exactly how the character feels. So much more poetic than "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Dull!
Unless you want to leach the fun prose out of your writing and have it sound like a manual on how to define the stock-market (or something equally boring) using beet red is fine! As long as you get the point across to the reader.

Choosing between what is true and what is trite is boring.

The issue is on the sensibility of POV: "Oh my gosh, I must have turned beet red" is just silly, but the alternative is not: "I'm sure the capillaries in my face dilated." Both are omniscient author intrusion of his (rather that the character's) vision of the truth.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Charles_F_Bell wrote:
C J Driftwood wrote:
Norm d'Plume wrote:

One of my reviewers says the POV character can't "see" himself turn beet red (ignore mirrors), therefore it should be wriiten something like "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Personally, I know when I turn beet red (blush severely) and don't need a mirror to tell me so.

Thanks

I think as writers we're allowed to take some liberties. Can one feel himself turn "beet" red. Probably not necessarily the beet kind of red- but who cares?

When written this way, the reader knows exactly how the character feels. So much more poetic than "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Dull!
Unless you want to leach the fun prose out of your writing and have it sound like a manual on how to define the stock-market (or something equally boring) using beet red is fine! As long as you get the point across to the reader.

Choosing between what is true and what is trite is boring.

The issue is on the sensibility of POV: "Oh my gosh, I must have turned beet red" is just silly, but the alternative is not: "I'm sure the capillaries in my face dilated." Both are omniscient author intrusion of his (rather that the character's) vision of the truth.

Do you mean "intrusion" or "interpretation"? Seems to me the only one who could speak to how Norm's character would talk, would be Norm. And if his character is of the mind to say- Dang, I'm so embarrassed, I must be beet red. Then that's the right POV for him. If I understand your statement, then it looks like we're in agreement.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

C J Driftwood wrote:
Charles_F_Bell wrote:
C J Driftwood wrote:

I think as writers we're allowed to take some liberties. Can one feel himself turn "beet" red. Probably not necessarily the beet kind of red- but who cares?

When written this way, the reader knows exactly how the character feels. So much more poetic than "blood rose into Joseph's cheeks." Dull!
Unless you want to leach the fun prose out of your writing and have it sound like a manual on how to define the stock-market (or something equally boring) using beet red is fine! As long as you get the point across to the reader.

Choosing between what is true and what is trite is boring.

The issue is on the sensibility of POV: "Oh my gosh, I must have turned beet red" is just silly, but the alternative is not: "I'm sure the capillaries in my face dilated." Both are omniscient author intrusion of his (rather that the character's) vision of the truth.

Do you mean "intrusion" or "interpretation"? Seems to me the only one who could speak to how Norm's character would talk, would be Norm. And if his character is of the mind to say- Dang, I'm so embarrassed, I must be beet red. Then that's the right POV for him. If I understand your statement, then it looks like we're in agreement.

Bear in mind that my words for both you and NdP is to focus on the issue: POV, a complex topic--yes--everything put from pen to paper by an author is, in reality, from his POV -- but it is no less important to note that if it is the intent of the author to present the story, in whole or in part, from a perspective that is not of the author, he should do that and not just pretend to do that with "I" narration or alleged internal dialog set off in italics. I am rather of the opinion that few authors genuinely do any true perspective writing because they have little notion of what others think and instead go by what they may say as if that may be what they think. "I do declare, my cheeks must as red as beets." is not something she is actually thinking but some set of words that leave her mouth directed by social norms.

An example of excellent perspective writing is The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ written by a middle-aged woman, Sue Townsend, a lovely woman recently passed, even if bolshie, but written in such a way that excludes all author intrusion in the sense that it could fool a teenage boy to believe it was written by another teenage boy.  {Diary format cheats a bit, though.}

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Just to clarify, the character turning beet red was in narration (Joseph turned beet red and looked to the marine for his reaction). It was, however, from Joseph's POV. It looks odd when written as dialogue.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Norm d'Plume wrote:

Just to clarify, the character turning beet red was in narration (Joseph turned beet red and looked to the marine for his reaction). It was, however, from Joseph's POV. It looks odd when written as dialogue.

I'm  sorry, but what do you mean by POV?

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

The entire book is 3rd person limited. Everything I, as the narrator, write is through the point-of-view character's lens.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Norm d'Plume wrote:

The entire book is 3rd person limited. Everything I, as the narrator, write is through the point-of-view character's lens.

So then the debate is really on whether you slipped into omniscient from limited (basically, author intrusion) which includes presumption on whether Joseph is a character who would really use the metaphor beet red.  Is this Into the Mind of God? I am surprised, judging from my reading of the first two chapters, and even supposing that the first chapter is a back-story prologue, it is in limited (Joseph) 3rd. All those italics of God are talking to Joseph but then they start talking to Apollo, so how would limited 3rd (Joseph) know what italicizing God is speaking to Apollo?

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

You have an excellent memory. There are primarily two POV characters: Joseph and Apollo, and I alternate between them, usually on a chapter by chapter basis. The first chapter is an exception since it takes place before either MC was born.

We are in Joseph's POV when he feels himself turn beet red. I could say he blushed severely, which eliminates the problem. We all know when we are blushing and by how much (mildly, severely), even if we can't see ourselves in a mirror.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Norm d'Plume wrote:

You have an excellent memory. There are primarily two POV characters: Joseph and Apollo, and I alternate between them, usually on a chapter by chapter basis. The first chapter is an exception since it takes place before either MC was born.

We are in Joseph's POV when he feels himself turn beet red. I could say he blushed severely, which eliminates the problem. We all know when we are blushing and by how much (mildly, severely), even if we can't see ourselves in a mirror.

I've never actually seen anyone turn beet red, but I have seen Irish turn "purple with rage" (but not actually purple, not even quite stop-sign red). People feel the tingle in the face for embarrassment or that building pressure and heat because of anger.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Hi,
Have you considered using something along the lines of "My cheeks started burning/glowing/cramping/.." I mean describe what it actually *physically* feels like when your cheeks turn beet red?  It might work better.. (Just thinking out loud here..)

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

You can't "see" it, but you can feel the burn.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Thanks for the suggestions, all. I went with blushed severely. It's short (better for that scene) and clear, without going omniscient.

Re: Can one feel oneself turn beet red?

Thanks for asking this Norm. In looking it up I discovered something useful for a series of characters I'm building ( and I did wonder if a sex flush remained after death):

Sex flush
Commonly referred to as the sex flush, vasocongestion (increased blood flow) of the skin can occur during all four phases of the human sexual response cycle. Studies show that the sex flush occurs in approximately 50–75% of females and 25% of males, yet not consistently. The sex flush tends to occur more often under warmer conditions and may not appear at all under cooler temperatures.

During the female sex flush, pinkish spots develop under the breasts, then spread to the breasts, torso, face, hands, soles of the feet, and possibly over the entire body. Vasocongestion is also responsible for the darkening of the clitoris and the walls of the vagina during sexual arousal. During the male sex flush, the coloration of the skin develops less consistently than in the female, but typically starts with the epigastrium (upper abdomen), spreads across the chest, then continues to the neck, face, forehead, back, and sometimes, shoulders and forearms.

The sex flush typically disappears soon after orgasm occurs, but in other cases it may take up to two hours or so, and sometimes intense sweating occurs simultaneously.

Sorry I went off the topic a bit, but perhaps other writers can use this bit of info since we all have sex as do many of our characters.