But What Does It Feel Like?

I decided to write a new scene today, set in a chandler’s shop.  It was kind of fun, creating a scholarly old man who teaches Mara how to tell the difference between beeswax and tallow candles, and how much he’ll pay for the discarded ends of each.  I made it a point to do a lot of description, too, of the shop, the candle maker, even the scales and weights he uses.

I also had to describe how the candles feel, since that’s how he teaches her to tell them apart.  Unfortunately the only candles I can recall feeling are the store-bought paraffin ones, which aren’t really helpful.  (Petroleum-based products are somewhat out-of-place in this fantasy story.)

Fortunately, I found a website that describes how to make tallow candles and what they look and feel like.  (This is especially good since I don’t know that anyone keeps tallow candles around much any more.)  I figured they’d feel a bit like the suet used to feed birds, and it sounds like I wasn’t too far off.

However, while I could find lots of directions for how to make beeswax candles, I couldn’t find a description of what they feel like.

I tried to find some actual candles, so I could feel them for myself, but the two stores that I checked failed me.  (They each failed me for different reasons; one didn’t have the candles, the other was closed on Sundays.)  I’m probably going to give at least one more store a peek tomorrow, but I also went to my friends on Facebook who actually helped me a bit.  The description of the difference between a beeswax candle and a paraffin one is at least enough for a start.