Which ability would you lose?

Speak no evil. hear No evil. See no evil
Speak no evil. hear No evil. See no evil

Ever since I wrote Principessa, where Portia had to solve a case while not speaking the native language (it was almost entirely set in Italy) I’ve thought about writing a casebook where my sleuth has to compensate for losing an ability.

The obvious ability to take away from her would seem to be sight, as a lot of her inductive observations are visual, but maybe that is too easy a choice.

What do you think? Which ability shall I deprive my heroine of (temporarily, though she will not know that) for my next casebook?

Author: Angela Misri

Novelist, Digital Strategist & Journalist http://angelamisri.com

9 thoughts on “Which ability would you lose?”

  1. Has to be sight. Yeah, it’s been done before, but it’s a crowd pleaser. Of course, hearing would also work very well. But if it’s smell…then it could lead to Portia having a possible disease or disorder that’s affecting her brain!

  2. Speech. Three years ago I had a reaction to a medication and lost the ability to speak. There wasn’t damage to my vocal chords. Instead, the ability to process thoughts into words was lost. It was terrifying and frustrating.

      1. When they lowered the dosage it returned. I was on prednisone (a steroid) for a lung condition…there were other side effects that were equally disturbing. I’m actually on prednisone right now, but at only a fraction of the dosage. Believe me, I NEVER want to go through that again.

  3. Temporary impairment of speech and hearing are merely annoying (we’ve all had to deal with the varieties that come with upper respiratory illnesses), while loss of sight is quite distressing (I’ve been there, and had to have surgery to restore my vision). My great-grandmother suffered horribly from the loss of touch in both of her hands (and lost motor control of her arms) before her death in 1936 at age 58. I have so far lost most of my sense of touch, although pain perception has increased, and I still have motor control. My other (permanent) disability is mobility, which is also no picnic (to put it more politely than I’m inclined to say) even in this day of ADA public accessibility accommodation requirements (of which there were none in Portia’s and my great-grandmother’s day). If you decide to use disability as a plot device, please proceed carefully.

  4. Please note that I did not intend to dismiss the other person’s post about her loss of speech, as it was not visible when I was composing my response. Aphasia (and permanent hearing loss, of which I have a small degree of impairment because of occupational noise levels when I was in the Navy) are just as hard to live with as any other kind of disability.

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