My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 06:54:24 AM

Title: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 06:54:24 AM
I have a hand gesture question.  ???

If I am holding a lightweight flaky substance in my hand, (a few wheat husks to be specific) and I wanted to drop them into your hand, what would the undulating finger action be called that I would need to use to dislodge the husks from my grip to your open and waiting hand?

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Joe Mynhardt on April 28, 2011, 07:00:19 AM
You could turn your closed fist sideways and funnel it down your hand and into the other person's hand.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 07:02:37 AM
Okay, pondering... Thank you Joe...  ???

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Gyppo on April 28, 2011, 07:07:47 AM
I think I'd either go with Joe's suggestion - funnel - or say that Matt or whoever trickled them into the other person's hand.  After all, grains and such like do flow like a liquid.

Gyppo
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 07:13:12 AM
Okay, thanks Gyp, I think I'll go with funneled then, unless or until something better comes along. Thank you gentlemen.

Skip

PS. Trickled sounds too 'watery' for the image in my head. IMO...
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 07:57:05 AM
I would need to see the section around this sound/action, Skip.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: twisted wheel on April 28, 2011, 08:11:06 AM
I would need to see the section around this sound/action, Skip.

same here - the way i envisaged it was a sifting motion through the fingers of an upturned palm
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: 510bhan on April 28, 2011, 08:15:25 AM
Trickled/ poured/ riddled through the fingers?
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 08:21:28 AM
Okay, I've finished writing the scene so I'll go post it for you to see what I mean since I stayed away last Saturday. Thank you for the suggestions, I might change what I have to what you offered.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 08:23:10 AM
Yes, I need just a short section around that action/sound you wish to tell.

I'd do it right on this thread.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 08:39:00 AM
Okay, I'll be right back.

'Just as Matt was about to ask Koop what was going on, the big man slowed his horse and held out his hand as though he wanted to give him something. “Where would you go to find these in the dead of winter?” Matt held out his hand and a few flakes funneled from Koop’s hand into the valleys between his fingers. The breathe of a slight breeze carried a few of the specs away before Matt could snap his hand shut.'


I was going to have Koop twiddle his fingers to dislodge the husks but it didn't sound right.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: 510bhan on April 28, 2011, 08:39:31 AM
dribbled
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 08:42:52 AM
I do believe the sounds/actions people have given you already show that sound/action well. The sound of grains falling does trickle/dribble/funnel. So they are well thought out suggestions. I just like to see the words around the actions/sounds to see if it is warranted to describe any further than those examples.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 08:46:05 AM
Here's one problem, if it was the grain than yes it would make a sound but this is just a few husks. (lightweight like the husks from popcorn)

So no sound.  ???

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: 510bhan on April 28, 2011, 08:47:57 AM
Why do you need a sound - the whispered breath of the breeze provides background noise?
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 08:48:48 AM
'a few' is a variable amount. You have to look and see what is important, what the main theme is. Is it the number, the sound, what is their significance to the scene/story. Often writing is hard because choices are many but only one fits well.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 08:53:39 AM
I was trying for the visual of Koop handing off the small amount of husks/ chaff to Matt because its a clue.

I was trying for a slithering hand motion to dislodge several light weight flakes.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: 510bhan on April 28, 2011, 08:55:54 AM
drizzled - almost has a sound to it too and could be quite sneaky.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 08:56:51 AM
Well if a husk is a clue, why not just one pinched between two fingers, held up to both their eye levels to inspect closely. To pour something so light and delicate, even without a wind is often hard. Static/moisture in the hand/breath even can destroy that chance. You know what you want, think about what is more important, the clue(one husk is as good as twenty), or the movement of it pouring. That's why I always ask for words around the scene.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 09:03:49 AM
Okay, I'm still pondering but I see what you mean about presenting the husks in his finger tips. That's a possible change to the movements I have.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: C.M. on April 28, 2011, 09:12:12 AM
Whisked - using the fingers like a small hand broom.   C.M.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 09:18:48 AM
Maybe yes.

'Koop whisked something from his hand and placed it into Matt's hand.'

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 09:34:24 AM
I whisk something away normally, showing a removal.

I wanted to remind you that there are other senses to use, which can connect to a fact seen/noticed prior or even in the future of the story.

Matt shows Koop the husks, Koop notices a strangely familiar scent, tastes, nods, lets Matt taste...then...'remember that guy back in so in so, he wore a cologne/had that same stench'(possibly transferred by a palm) or if towards the future, that other sense be it smell/taste/stain, can be seen on an article of clothing worn by another, or perhaps even just stray husks caught in his hair.

The idea is if you are going to use something like this, ie, stop the story to mention a husk, then you have to make it worth that stop in flow. The more you connect it to the story, the more it belongs.


Anyway I'm way into rambling mode now, so will stop.

I'm sure you'll figure this out.

Silt
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 09:36:56 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on April 28, 2011, 10:29:34 AM
Skip, I may be way off base here, but the way you described it in your question I envisioned Koop's fingers curled inward as he held it out to Matt. When Matt held his hand out (pretty much a natural reaction when you trust the other person and it's clear they want to give/show you something). Koop loosening his fingers enough to allow the content to sift into Matt's open palm.

Being something as light as you describe, I dare say some of the husks/chaff would cling to Koop's hand and he might well dust his hands together to dislodge them.

Sometime simpler is better. It doesn't always have to be perfect, just enough to get the idea across and let the reader fill the rest in with their own imagination.   
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 28, 2011, 10:55:19 AM
Hey Skip.

The reason I asked for a small section around that scene to be posted in here is because I've decided to take a break from critiquing. I realised you posted a new piece in the forum, so wanted to explain why I haven't replied in there. :) If you were to post that scene here, I would be happy to look at it. You probably have it pictured perfectly, often we doubt our own words, so don't concern yourself too much or it will become a block in the road.

Silt
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 11:15:55 AM
Hey Miss Alice, yes I see what you mean. Keep it simple.

Sir Silt, this is our loss. I know I get quite a bit from your comments, even if you pull back from 'SPaG' into 'Reader's-Eyes'.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Heinrich on April 28, 2011, 02:15:59 PM
I might have the cat dangling by it's tail, but could pinching the husks be helpful or trickling them?
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Suemcb on April 28, 2011, 05:45:38 PM
Floated, drifted, sifted,

Reading what you have posted here I tended to see it as being something really light, not something that would actually just drop.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 06:22:43 PM
Exactly, husks / chaff is the thin shell casing of the barley or wheat. Once the grain is cracked free, its like the popcorn chaff that gets stuck in your gums. (the slightest breeze will carry it away before it can drop a few inches.

And, unless your hand is bone dry, the chaff will stick to your skin. Thus the need for the 'brushing' of the fingers to dislodge it/them.

With all the words everyone has used I think I have a cross of ideas on what to say. Thanks guys.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Don on April 28, 2011, 07:48:47 PM
"What do you make of this?" Koop asked, funnelling the contents of his closed fist into Matt's upturned palm. "I know it looks like wheat husks, but look closer. It's really armor from alien spores."

Okay, maybe you have to modify the dialogue somewhat to fit your story, but you get the idea. Alice is right. Use the reader's imagination. :)

Don -
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 28, 2011, 08:20:07 PM
Yes, I see what you're saying, by giving it to dialogue it opens the imagination. Here's what I came up with before I read your comment Don.

Koop looked around and held out his hand to give that something to Matt. “Where would you go to find these in the dead of winter?” Matt held out his hand and a few flakes funneled from Koop’s hand into the tiny crevasses between his fingers. The breathe of a slight breeze carried a few specs away before Matt could snap his hand shut.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 29, 2011, 08:05:41 AM
Yes, I see what you're saying, by giving it to dialogue it opens the imagination. Here's what I came up with before I read your comment Don.

Koop looked around and held out his hand to give that something to Matt. “Where would you go to find these in the dead of winter?” Matt held out his hand and a few flakes funneled from Koop’s hand into the tiny crevasses between his fingers. The breathe of a slight breeze carried a few specs away before Matt could snap his hand shut.

Skip

Koop opened his clenched fist, mindful of those who stood nearby. “Would you normally find these in the dead of winter?” he whispered. Matt looked down. Caught by a light breeze, tiny husks of (...)  swirled before being swept away.

I know I played with your words, but tried to keep your meaning, Skip.  To just call them 'something/few flakes/few specs' is a bit too obscure. You want the reader to know what they are asap, because they are important to the story and scene. That Matt couldn't catch them is not important since he is shown to see. The transfer is not really important, more is the fact that the husks are not seen in the dead of winter.  So tell what needs to be told.

Just my thoughts, great work, Skip

Silt
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 29, 2011, 04:18:36 PM
Without straying too far away from the image of initial hand gesture, I see what you're aiming at. My concern was the fine tuning of the body language and the subtle variations of what is in the hand would determining how it was delivered.
For instance, a handful of peas or pebbles given to another would look differently than handing over a few specks of confetti. Keeping in mind that Matt doesn't know what is being handed to him until he examines it a little closer. (Which comes in the next lines of the story.)

Drawing his closed fist to his stomach, he cupped his other hand over his fingers before looking to see what his friend had given to him. “Barely husks?”

This is why I thought that if I could fine tune the initial gesture and mention that a slight breeze stole a few of the pieces, this would set up the imagery for the reader. Yeah-yeah??

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 29, 2011, 04:30:15 PM
Hard to say, Skip. It is your story, no one knows the characters better than you.

I know you'll sort it out.
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 29, 2011, 04:32:55 PM
 ;D always pondering.

Skip
Title: Re: I have a hand gesture question. ???
Post by: Silt on April 29, 2011, 04:34:10 PM
Sometimes I spend days over one word.