Visualising My Novel

I’ve noticed recently that most of my ideas for my novels come in the form of either a still image or a scene acted out as if it was in a movie starring my characters. I can lie in bed for hours doing it, changing around dialogue and facial expressions, experimenting with setting or any number of things. I suppose this is why I find good photography so evocative. The same visual preference seems to apply to my memory as well; I remember images far better than, say, someone’s name, and when I read a book I imagine the characters as if they were standing in front of me, although my idea of how they look often doesn’t match up with the author’s descriptions and I have to make an effort to change what’s in my mind’s eye.

Visualising scenes is my favourite way to generate ideas, which often turns into daydreaming at inopportune times. Even when I’m working with a concept rather than specific characters at the beginning of a project, I tend to imagine what the characters might look like before I even know who the hell they are or what the hell they’re doing in my head. It’d be interesting to see how other writers find their ideas, whether they prefer to write out a logical sequence of events or watch their characters banter away in their heads for hours on end. I’m betting most, if not all, writers see things in their heads which they then try to translate onto the page.

(I think this post counts as word-vomit or rambling.)


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