New blogger – Elizabeth Rose – Writing a blind heroine

I just wanted to introduce myself, I am a new blogger, and also an author of romance. I write under the name of Elizabeth Rose. I am happy to be here!


I write everything from medieval to paranormal -shapeshifters, vampires, warlocks, – to contemporary. I am in the process of finishing up Book Four, Lady of the Mist, in my medieval series entitled Legacy of the Blade. It should be released sometime in the next few weeks. But right now I’d like to talk about writing challenging characters. In Book Two of the series, Lady Renegade, my heroine is blind.

When writing a character without sight, it is very important to rely on her other senses. My suggestion – let your character have had sight at one time during her life, rather than being born blind. That way you can build the layers as she remembers things from the past. In Lady Renegade, my heroine, Wren, is blinded in a battle between the English and the Scottish. She is young at the time but remembers the hero, Storm MacKeefe, as he is not one to forget.

So when she meets him again, nine years later, she knows him by his voice, his scent, and by the things he says. Touch is also a wonderful way for your blind heroine to look at her man. Plus, it doesn’t hurt any, if you happen to be writing a romance! But all kidding aside, use the other senses to help make her seem real and the storyline believable. Let her know it is daytime by the feel of the sun on her face even if she can’t see it. She may be able to tell she’s near water by the sound of it trickling over stones, or the smell of fish, or the sound of gulls, or even the taste of salt in the air. And don’t skimp on describing how she is feeling as well. She may feel frustrated not being able to see the hero’s sexy green eyes or she may feel just the opposite and think she is special because she’s not distracted by outside influences and instead knows exactly what is going on around her when everyone else in blind in their own way.

And one last thing, sometimes a catalyst is needed. For instance, Wren is the leader of a band of renegade women. So I need her to be able to ride a horse and aim an arrow without making it sound too far-fetched. So in her case,  she has always had a special bond with animals. So when her owl is perched on her shoulder she is able to see shadows only, through the eyes of her bird. But when the bird leaves, she is once again on her own.

I’d like to share an excerpt from the second book, Lady Renegade, with you now. This is mostly in the hero’s viewpoint, but you get into the bind heroine’s head near the end. It is one of my favorite scenes.

Thanks, and I will have lots to share with you about writing in the coming weeks so keep watching.

Elizabeth Rose

LADY RENEGADE  by Elizabeth Rose


“Why don’t ye light a candle?” Storm asked. “How can ye see what yer doin’, ’tis so dark in here?”

“I’m used to the dark,” Wren replied, and got to her feet. “Besides, I don’t use candles unless absolutely necessary.”

Losh, woman!” exclaimed Storm, shaking his head in disbelief. “Dinna tell me ye dinna even want to use a tallow candle because ye’d have to kill an animal to use its fat?”

“You’re a prisoner,” she snapped. “Watch how you speak to me, or I’ll make you suffer.”

“What do ye call this?” he asked. “For me throat is parched and ye’ve yet to offer me a dram o’ whisky.”

She stood still for a moment, almost seeming to contemplate the request. Then slowly, she walked toward the entrance as she answered him.

“All right. I’ll get you whisky. But I assure you you’ll never ask me for it again.”

Storm thought it a strange response, as he couldn’t imagine why she would think he would ever decline the drink of which he was so fond.

Wren placed her owl on her shoulder, and made her way to the door. As it squeaked open, it once again revealed sunlight and freedom, before closing and leaving Storm once again in darkness and despair.

Hurriedly, he worked on his escape hoping to be out of the shackles before she returned. He had been in many a threatening situation before, but always managed to escape. In fact, he prided himself in being the best escape artist in all of Scotland, mayhap England as well.

Stretching, his fingers managed to reach and untie the leather laces that bound his boots around his legs. Squirming his feet around inside his boots, he quickly managed to slide one foot upward and then the other, until his bare feet were free and rested upon the pine needles. He chuckled as he eyed his limp boots which were still bound together. He twisted around in the chair, bringing his toes up to help loosen the ropes that held his body. With a few more tricky twists, and with the help of his shackled hands and strong teeth, he managed to free himself. The ropes dropped to the ground and he breathed a sigh of relief.

Quickly, he rose to try to get the feeling back in his legs before attempting to walk or free himself of the shackles still encircling his wrists.

The light of day caught his attention once more, as Wren pushed open the door and entered the room. Storm hurriedly sat back down pretending he was still tied up, trying to decide what to do next.

“I brought you a candle,” Wren said as she placed it on the table in the center of the room, and placed her owl on a wooden perch nearby that Storm hadn’t even noticed.

She still hadn’t looked directly at him, but he knew if she did, she would now see his escapades, as the flickering candlelight well lit the underground room.

“Beeswax?” he asked, realizing no stench from fallow permeated the air.

“I’ll allow no other kind among my army.”

She pulled a pouch from under her arm, and poured what smelled like whisky into a wooden goblet she retrieved off the shelf.

“Do me eyes deceive me or is that an animal bladder that holds yer whisky?” asked Storm.

“The animal was dead when I found it,” she explained. “A poacher shot it before I managed to scare him away.” She turned abruptly toward Storm and marched directly for him. Holding out the goblet, she offered him the drink.

Storm sat motionless for a minute, not sure why she hadn’t even acknowledged the fact he was sitting on the chair untied, barefoot, and working on removing his shackles.

“Me many thanks,” he carefully chose his words, letting both his hands grab the goblet while he surveyed her face. There was something strange about the whole situation. She never really looked straight at him, and hardly ever blinked. Of course, it was still a bit dark in there and he could be mistaken, but only a blind person could not notice what he had done.

“You asked for it, now drink it,” she commanded. Without waiting, she quickly turned away and walked over to pet the owl which had fluttered silently to the table and was now eyeing him suspiciously.

“Ye dinna haveta tell a Scotsman to drink.” He held the goblet to his lips and gulped it down greedily.

Wren half-turned her head waiting for a cough or a gag from the potent hell-fire she had just served her prisoner. She had used this trick more than once on guards before she attacked the English camps. The potency of the liquor alone had made many a drinking man fall into an unconscious state for several days at a time.

“Blazin’ fires o’ hell!” cried Storm through a raspy voice.

Wren smiled knowingly, expecting to hear at any moment the goblet falling to the ground as he passed out.

“I havena tasted whisky like that in a long time.”

Wren’s eyebrows dipped as she turned away from the owl and curiously headed in Storm’s direction.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

Losh me! What a grand uisque baugh. Aye, this whisky is truly the water of life.”

“Have another sip,” Wren coaxed, guessing he hadn’t yet tasted enough to make a difference.

“I canna.”


“Becooz me cup is empty.”

“Empty?” gasped Wren. “And you’re still conscious?”

“Me grandda used to make a mountain magic that tasted jest like this,” he exclaimed excitedly. “I used to drink it since I were but a bairn, barely able to walk. When me grandda disappeared, I was sure his secret brew died with him. Tell me, where did ye get it?”

“Never mind that.” Wren quickly made her way toward the bladder of whisky lying on the table. “Maybe you should have some more.”

She walked back to his chair and held it out for him to take. When he neither answered nor grabbed for the bladder, her arm lowered to her side and she cocked her head like a bird of prey listening for its victim.

Suddenly from behind her, Storm brought his shackled wrists over her head, clasping her arms tightly to her sides so she couldn’t move. The bladder of whisky slipped from her hand into the pine boughs at her feet.

“No wonder ye didna need a candle,” he whispered into her ear which sent a flaming shudder up her spine, “for ye are blind arena ye?”

Wren turned her head slightly and felt his hot breath on her cheek. The smell of whisky permeated his words, intoxicating her to the warmth of the man’s body that now pressed against hers.

“What does it matter?” she asked softly, knowing that once men found out she was blind, they usually avoided her with the same caution of meeting with a leper.

“It doesna seem to slow ye down,” he observed, pulling his arms tighter around her.

“Release me,” she commanded, “or I’ll scream for my army to come to my aid.”

“I dinna think ye’ll do that.”

“How can you be so sure?”

Storm shimmied his body around her so they were now facing each other. She felt her body warming, being pressed against this savage’s strong chest. A wave of raw excitement swept through her, being held so close by a man who had such an unspoken power about him he made her forget she was holding him captive.

Lord of the Blade:

Lady Rendgade:

Lord of Illusion:

3 thoughts on “New blogger – Elizabeth Rose – Writing a blind heroine

  1. Great excerpt – I want to

    I too am writing a heroine – but she is deaf. It’s a challenge to eliminate one of the senses and yet it really is a powerful way to bring together to two characters. For example my heroine has to look at the hero’s mouth in order to read his lips, needless to say it’s driving my hero crazy because he wants to kiss her all the time.

    I agree completely – they need to have some sort of experience to the missing sense, without it it’s nearly impossible to describe. My heroine went deaf around six years of age so she already has basics, but then she wasn’t allowed to talk or read or learn or anything so as an adult living with the hero she is learning these skills again. This allows for lots of extra sensory experience such as the movement of the mouth, the hand actions we accompany to certain words, the vibrations of his chest as he makes words, etc.

    Great First post – Welcome to HerStoryCalls.

    • Michelle, you have taken on a HUGE challenge. Not sure I would even tackle a deaf character. But it sounds like you are doing a great job, and your story will be remembered because it is different from all the rest. Good luck!!

      Elizabeth Rose

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