One of my writer friends shared this meme on Facebook, and it’s been swimming in my head since.
Which one of these are you?
People often ask me if I see the things I write, and the answer is no. With the exception of single scenes here and there, I don’t visualise.
I don’t know 100% what Cara or Pointy look like, I can’t see mecahnobots or automotives, and Collinefort is a blur to me. I see them in words. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Which means it came as a huge shock to learn that other readers actually step into the worlds they read about, or experience reading like watching an internal movie.
This movie thing has only happened to me twice. One is a scene near the beginning of my old, unpublished book, The Rise of the Exile Queen. Eva runs through a forest at night, and the musty forest air, the sponge-like moss under her feet, twigs snapping and scratching her face–I feel those things. Maybe I am those things.
The other scene I totally visualise is near the end of the book, where Hunter thinks Eva is dead and sags to his knees on a hill, then bellows out her name. I am every timbre of his voice, every blade of grass, and the wind ruffling his hair.
But I’ve never experienced anything so detailed in the Fall of the Mantle books. I can visualise the Mantle, and the Valley of a Thousand Hills is based on a place with the same name in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which I’ve visited many times in my life. I can see the Natalistide market where Nathan buys sugar-coated almonds, because this is based heavily on the Christmas markets in Germany. I have vivid images of Malak in her bright clothing and Magnus smoking his pipe, and now that my brain has made Lucy Lawless and Vendla the same person, I see her in every scene. But the rest is a beautiful mystery to me.
I also don’t visualise when I read. Sometimes, when I get really swept up in the story, I can almost hear each character speak, but this happens rarely.
So, I’m interested. Where are you on the scale from full on visualisation to seeing words on the page? And, if you’ve read my books, I’d love to know how you picture the characters/world. Please let me know! 🙂