4 comments on “Unleash Your Imagination

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. There’s nothing like creating a world of our own making; dreaming it up and setting it free. We read to be taken on a journey, and I find that people who write ‘what they know’ can fall into the trap of being too prescriptive – of telling not showing their readers what they want them to see. I’ve fallen into the trap. I changed my first novel to base it in an area I’m familiar with and I think it suffered because of it. It can be daunting though, I’ve had ‘debates’ with people about a character who has certain psychic abilities, because I didn’t necessarily stick to the accepted definitions. I agree that you have to do a certain amount of research to make situations believable, but then if people are different and experience things differently, why can’t the same be said for our characters and how they react to the world around them. Sometimes people forget it’s a fictional world and get caught up in things that shouldn’t be possible. It always reminds me of a good friend of mine, and her reaction the first time I forced her to watch the X-men (she isn’t a fan of the genre). When Wolverine was thrown through the windscreen, breaking his neck in the process, and then proceeded to fix the break in his usual regenerative way, she almost walked out of the cinema! ‘As if!’ she declared in outrage, at which point I sank lower into my seat and tried not to draw attention to myself 🙂 But seriously, it’s about striking a balance, letting your imagination tell a story and picking up the slack. To use your example, if you’re writing about a doctor, you have to respect the procedures a doctor would follow, but not take it to the extreme. Readers don’t necessarily want to know the implements he uses, just how he feels, or what he’s thinking when he does! If the story is based in a future time – even better. That gives you poetic license 🙂

    Interesting post, and as always, it allowed me to reflect on the lessons I’ve learnt and my beliefs as a writer.

    • That’s a great point. There is actually a risk of being too familiar with your work if you only write what you know as it is so second nature the words may just spill out rather than be poured with love and attention. It can be easy to fall back on the familiar when it is pushing ourselves that will generally produce the best results in the long run.

      I also agree completely about the reader being more interested in what characters think and feel over what they physically do; sometimes it’s what you don’t say/show that makes a scene more believable.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

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