My protagonist has an unique power, he can feel the souls of other beings with his mind. One day this guy meets a girl with the most wonderful soul on earth, she is happy at all times and loves everyone and everything: A positive person indeed.

Another day, this guy meets a serial killer at the bus. My protagonist can't sleep for days now.

How do I write the feeling of something that we can't touch or see?

  • Hi, Fighter Cat; I've reworded this a little to avoid the question being seen as a "what do I write" question, something that's off-topic here. Sep 17, 2017 at 0:24

3 Answers 3


My answer would be by mentally making it tangible. Associate it in the same way a blind person associates red with the color hot and blue with cold. If you believe in an afterlife, then a soul, in essence is as tangible as the body that gave it up. Speaking from my own experience of coming into contact with a dark entity, it does not feel nice.

My family and I went on holiday to Cornwall and visited a place called Lands End. Our intention was to wait in a pub, for 45 min, until they started serving the evening meal. I had this horrible foreboding feeling that something bad had happened there. At first it was like a tingling feeling crawling up my spine. Then I became extremely anxious and fatigued. I even tried to lay my head on the table but I couldn't sit still. As time passed, my chest felt as though something were pressing down on it. I couldn't get enough air. Then the nausea came. Finally, though we only had 5 min. to wait for our meal, I told my husband I had to leave. As we drove back to our B&B, where we were staying, the more distance we put between us and this place, the better I felt.

Later, I decided to do some research and discovered that a woman, presumed to be a witch had been put into a well and left to die. Guess what? The pub was built over the top of the existing well. If fact, it was only a few yards from where we were sitting.

If a soul is bad or evil it would be described as dark and cold causing a feeling of uneasiness. Whereas a good soul would be the opposite; warm, bright, peaceful.


+1 To Sheila. A slightly different answer: Make him feel what they feel. When he meets the girl, he is as happy as he has ever been. He feels love and compassion for every stranger he sees as if they were his best friends gone for years.

When he meets the serial killer, he is cold, enjoys the pain of others (or is turned on by it), feels a simmering anger and resentment that makes him want to harm others. When he sees a clip of a horror movie and a girl being tortured and killed, it doesn't feel frightening at all, to him it feels like being in love.

The duration of the impression depends on how extreme the soul is; other people on the subway tend to cancel out impressions, but Strong Souls (good or bad) persist for hours or days.

I think you have a pretty good premise; there is a lot of room for it to drive your story.

  • This is good. You can't "think" what someone else is feeling. Connecting with someone like that is like being them, but usually from a more or less great distance, so things may be less clear or less intense than they are experiencing. Also, because you're not them, everything you experience has to pass through the filter of who you are. So, something that has a strong meaning/impact for them might be very small for you and vice versa. You may not understand everything you experience.
    – Joe
    Sep 20, 2017 at 19:48

Combine a surreal combination of senses with individual clippings of context.

A human physically cannot imagine another sense, and is forced to think of another such sense as some combination of existing senses, combined with information they wouldn't usually be able to obtain directly.

For example, "Mike opened his third eye, and fighting his insecurity, looked directly at the mop of brown hair obscured by a thick tome. Instantly, he was in the void again. He spun around to look directly at the point of light that he knew would be there. Something was different. He couldn't yet explain it, but he knew then that something was different. He let himself be pulled towards it, pulled into it. It tugged him tentatively and tenderly, and he gasped at the majestic pale sunset of pink and gold, every drop of light was filled with shyness and curiosity. He peered deeper behind the veil, and almost cried out for fear of being ripped out of his body and consumed. His thoughts were drowned by sweet cinnamon, as his vision was filled with turquoise and flecks of red."

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