What is Desperation:
Definition 1: loss of hope and surrender to despair
Definition 2: a state of hopelessness leading to rashness
Fiction often talks about a character being desperate and almost any character could experience it whether it's the protagonist, the antagonist, a child, an adult, someone in desperate need or someone who just thinks they are desperate. But often times in a few different common forms: one character observing another that they are desperate, trying to hide desperation, and in particular, someone reeking of desperation. Sure it varies some, but often the word "desperate" or "desperation" is used.
But what does desperation really look like? Are there any tell tale signs that people can do that doesn't involve using the words "desperate" or "desperation." And more importantly, why does someone who seems desperate often reek of it? What does desperation smell like? Seriously. I tried looking up where the phrase "reeks of desperation" comes from but got tired of looking through links that all use the term but don't explain the origin. Well, technically reek also means "exude" so I guess that could be what reeks of desperation means, but it would be interesting to know what it might smell like.
In writing, we are often told to show, not tell, and that makes me curious about what desperation is like in the show way.
What does desperation look like to you?
What, if anything, do you think it would smell like?