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yesandno
07-11-2007, 05:32 AM
Do you visualize when you read and write? Is this an important part of your ability to create with words or interpret texts? How vividly do you picture your characters and scenes? Do the visualizations play out like movies, or do you just get small flashes of gestures or specific details?

katiemac
07-11-2007, 05:36 AM
Do the visualizations play out like movies, or do you just get small flashes of gestures or specific details?

Both. I've created stories based on somebody's expression.

Patricia
07-11-2007, 05:51 AM
Both. I've created stories based on somebody's expression.

Me too!

yesandno
07-11-2007, 05:53 AM
I get tiny flashes sometimes, but don't visualize. A few of the writing books I've read recently focus on this ability that I seem to be lacking. I'm really curious how it works, and if most people write this way--from visual images in their mind.

Jen_D
07-11-2007, 06:09 AM
I visualize both, and more often then not they play like movies. Which in my case is a bad thing, because I end up leaving out details. Because I can see my characters playing out their lives in my head I assume everyone else can see it too. I forget that I'm supposed to be the one creating that image for them.

jhtatroe
07-11-2007, 06:13 AM
I definitely don't see my work playing out like a movie in my head, but I do think I visualize what's happening through the character's eyes. That means I linger on certain details my characters would notice, but I sometimes have a hard time describing the characters themselves and I have to consciously think about what color my MC's hair is and how tall s/he is.

Oddsocks
07-11-2007, 06:26 AM
I visualise everything. I don't have to work at it, it's automatic - I constantly have scenes playing out in my head. I extract my characters and plots from these. Once I have the characters and plots, they show up more frequently, adding to the story. Of course, once I've got a rough outline and a couple of scenes, I have to draw logical outcomes and work out what happens and how things go, but this is again done visually.

I.e. I might have an idea - "it's obvious in this situation that X will tell Y about W" - then I either visualise it then write it, or visualise it as I write it.

I think this kind of thing depends on what kind of thinker you are. Some people usually think visually, others don't. My brain translates pretty much everything into some kind of visual automatically. If you aren't a visual thinker, you'll probably visualise less when writing, but ultimately I don't think it would affect a person's writing very much one way or the other.

kristie911
07-11-2007, 06:33 AM
I visualize everything I write; actions, gestures, facial expressions. I don't try, I just see it playing in my head like a movie and write it all down.

Though, unlike a movie, if I don't like something, I can change it! :)

reigningcatsndogs
07-11-2007, 06:34 AM
Most of the time that's how it all comes to me, like a video, thankfully with a rewind button so I can back it up and fix the problems.
And I also see dead people.......(suspenseful music here)

MidnightMuse
07-11-2007, 07:13 AM
I do. I watch my characters in my head like I'm watching a movie - I "hear" and see them speak, move, react, emote. Being the writer and director, I can hit rewind and constantly change the script and their motivations until I'm satisfied.

That's part of what makes writing such a fun ride.

Tachyon
07-11-2007, 07:32 AM
I do. I watch my characters in my head like I'm watching a movie - I "hear" and see them speak, move, react, emote. Being the writer and director, I can hit rewind and constantly change the script and their motivations until I'm satisfied.

That's part of what makes writing such a fun ride.
I do this too. My scenes also have a score, because the music that is playing is important to the mood I'm trying to achieve.

However, I don't really visualize my characters' faces. Sometimes I see their expressions and general characteristics--I know what they look like, but that just seems to blur into the background, like an undetailled watercolour, in comparison to the rest of the scene. o_O

BlueTexas
07-11-2007, 09:35 AM
When I'm writing dialogue, and I have to have the characters interact, I see how they move, flashes of things. Actually, this happens more that I was previously away in other scenes too, now that you mention it. I think a lot of it is visual.

Dave.C.Robinson
07-11-2007, 05:04 PM
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I almost always see my action scenes like a movie.

Spiny Norman
07-11-2007, 05:35 PM
I can never see my main character's face. Everyone else's, sure. Maybe it has something to do with writing in the first person.

Elodie-Caroline
07-11-2007, 05:42 PM
When I am reading a book, writing my own, or listening to a play on the radio, I have very vivid scenes running through my head the whole of the time..



Elodie

Nakhlasmoke
07-11-2007, 05:44 PM
Small flashes of visuals. The whole thing doesn't play in my head like a movie, although sometimes I wish it would.

Melanie Nilles
07-11-2007, 09:27 PM
Like others said, I watch scenes like a movie with a rewind and edit button to get it just right. I don't usually see my characters in great detail--it's like they're usually blurred out--but have more of a feeling of their personalities. I have to remind myself of what they look at times by keeping bios with physical and personality descriptions.

DragonHeart
07-11-2007, 09:46 PM
Oddly enough, I've never been able to visualize things very well at all. Every now and then I get a flash of an image or a snippet of a scene, but I can't play an entire story through in my mind.

On the other hand, I'm very sensitive to sound. I may not be able to see what my characters are doing, but I can hear some of the most obscure little details. Luckily I don't write erotica. :o

~DragonHeart~

maestrowork
07-11-2007, 09:51 PM
Yup. I visualize everything. (except thoughts and emotions, of course)

Ardellis
07-14-2007, 02:56 PM
When I'm writing, I do get occasional clear images in my mind, and sometimes sounds, smells, or tastes, but I can usually count on having a tactile sense of the scene. The POV character's posture and muscle tension, the way her hair brushes her cheek when she turns her head, the texture of the wet grass he's just fallen on.

I think most people favor one sense over the others when writing. Our brains are just hardwired that way.

MissLadyRae
07-14-2007, 03:36 PM
I do this too. My scenes also have a score, because the music that is playing is important to the mood I'm trying to achieve.

However, I don't really visualize my characters' faces. Sometimes I see their expressions and general characteristics--I know what they look like, but that just seems to blur into the background, like an undetailled watercolour, in comparison to the rest of the scene. o_O

How weird, I didn't notice this until I read your post, but I know exactly what you mean. I write like I'm viewing a movie or a scene in front of me, but I can't quite see my character's faces too well. Although sometimes I have still visuals of their detailed expressions when I'm not writing. The brain is a funny thing.

Enraptured
07-14-2007, 04:34 PM
Pretty much everything I visualize is blurry. I hardly ever get clear images, just out-of-focus scenes overlaid with emotion. I'll see two characters in my mind, for instance, and the chairs they're sitting on, but I don't see any details.

My characters also don't move on their own. I know some people watch what their characters do and base their writing on what they see; I can't do that. My characters are frozen until I tell them what to do. Once I write it down, they'll do whatever I told them to do in my writing.

I do, however, hear bits of dialogue in my head, especially when I'm just starting to plan a story.

Angelinity
07-14-2007, 05:01 PM
for me it's not only visualising, i need to sink into each scene and experience everything, be a fly on the wall -- sound, smell, fear... feeling the emotions of every character in every scene is the key for me, until and unless i manage this, my scene is 'just ok'.

i've been known to laugh or cry for no 'apparent' reason while writing a scene. ...but then, my genre is mostly literary -- so this method may not necessarily apply to other genres.

Inky
07-14-2007, 05:08 PM
It's as if I'm walking, talking, breathing, living the scence and telling it through the main character's eyes, or whomever has the stage at that moment. I try to get across what I'm seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, each scene alive with various emotions. I like my reader to feel as if they're watching a movie, yet also feeling the moment.

I've found that if I remain on the outside looking in, my writing lacks depth, but when I become one with the scene, I'm able to paint words more vividly; thus, enabling others to touch the story.

Hope this makes sense.

Inky
07-14-2007, 05:10 PM
for me it's not only visualising, i need to sink into each scene and experience everything, be a fly on the wall -- sound, smell, fear... feeling the emotions of every character in every scene is the key for me, until and unless i manage this, my scene is 'just ok'.

i've been known to laugh or cry for no 'apparent' reason while writing a scene. ...but then, my genre is mostly literary -- so this method may not necessarily apply to other genres.

...................and then I read this post. Whew! I'm not alone. Glad to know others will understand 'sinking' into the scene.

Lady Esther
07-14-2007, 05:36 PM
I can never see my main character's face. Everyone else's, sure. Maybe it has something to do with writing in the first person.

(I write in third person, but) sometimes I can't see my main character's face either. So, I stop writing, turn the camera around, and see what she's doing. Sometimes I think Oh, she's frowning. Let me write that down.

But usually I can see everything play out like a movie. Though, sometimes, it's hard for me to describe the setting.

Elodie-Caroline
07-14-2007, 06:01 PM
Yes, me too. I had already planned a funny conversation in my head for my two MCs, but I still laughed my head off as I was writing it. I also feel the pain for the rotten parts of my MCs lives; some days I have to leave off writing those parts, they make me feel blue.


for me it's not only visualising,
i've been known to laugh or cry for no 'apparent' reason while writing a scene. ...but then, my genre is mostly literary -- so this method may not necessarily apply to other genres.

yesandno
07-14-2007, 06:21 PM
Thanks so much for all of the responses. It seems that the ability to visualize when writing/reading is pretty prevalent.

It's interesting. I can't visualize, but I do FEEL things really strongly when I write, and extrapolate what things might look like from the emotions my characters feel.

ccarver30
07-14-2007, 07:12 PM
I have to fully see it in my head in order to describe it (the scene). It is very much like a movie.

Sean D. Schaffer
07-14-2007, 10:18 PM
Do you visualize when you read and write? Is this an important part of your ability to create with words or interpret texts? How vividly do you picture your characters and scenes? Do the visualizations play out like movies, or do you just get small flashes of gestures or specific details?


I generally do visualize, but I kind of go back-and-forth between still shots and movie-like pictures. This just depends upon my mood, how awake I am when reading/writing, etc.

A lot of times within my writing, I have to visualize before I write, so I can figure out what words I need to use. This method seems to work pretty well so far.

BardSkye
07-15-2007, 10:08 PM
I'm a little jealous of those who can see their story like a movie. I wish I could. I can visualize still shots within the story, but can't animate them.

Perhaps it comes from spending more time doing pen sketches or oils than watching movies? I've never been much of a movie or TV watcher.

joetrain
07-15-2007, 10:13 PM
i walk through the settings in my head, see what the characters see. when i begin writing what i don't know the lights dim and go out and i know the writing is sufferring.

Summerwriter
07-17-2007, 08:53 AM
I visualize both, and more often then not they play like movies. Which in my case is a bad thing, because I end up leaving out details. Because I can see my characters playing out their lives in my head I assume everyone else can see it too. I forget that I'm supposed to be the one creating that image for them.

That could be my writing! No, really. It could. I am guilty as charged in this case. I see my characters in the scene and setting and imagine that everyone else can see them too. But it does not work that way. And oh boy do my readers let me know that right away!
And when it comes to "flashes or movie" -thing...in the past it was like a movie. Nowadays it comes in flashes...there may be one silent flash repeating itself over and over in my head...and that's all. But you can't force Gisela (my Inner Writer)...she'll show the scenes when she wants to. And when I say silent scene, I mean exactly that. Silent scene. You may see the action but you do not hear a word even you'd see the lips of the characters moving. Aargh! That's one of the most frustrating things I know. But Gisela lets me know the dialogue as soon as she herself can hear it.

blacbird
07-17-2007, 09:09 AM
Do you visualize when you read and write?

Sure. What's the point, otherwise?

caw

Lady Esther
07-17-2007, 09:33 AM
... And when I say silent scene, I mean exactly that. Silent scene. You may see the action but you do not hear a word even you'd see the lips of the characters moving. Aargh! That's one of the most frustrating things I know. But Gisela lets me know the dialogue as soon as she herself can hear it.


Wow. I never heard of anyone who could see the picture and not hear the words. I can't imagine what that's like.

reenkam
07-17-2007, 09:41 AM
And when I say silent scene, I mean exactly that. Silent scene. You may see the action but you do not hear a word even you'd see the lips of the characters moving. Aargh! That's one of the most frustrating things I know.


Wow. I never heard of anyone who could see the picture and not hear the words. I can't imagine what that's like.

Actually, it's the same way for me, pretty much. When scenes are playing out in my head, there's no sound. Well, actually, there's sound. But no voices. Like, if someone got shot, I'd hear the gun and everything. But there'd be no one yelling or crying or anything. The characters would move their mouths, but I wouldn't hear it.

I never really thought about that until I read Summerwriter's post...it is kind of annoying, in a way. I'm not really sure of any of my character's voices. When I start typing the scene the dialogue and words will come to me so each character has his or her own written voice, but aurally (is that a word?) I can't be sure. They all sound kind of similar, in my head. But that's always out of scene context, since my mental scenes are voice-less.

weird.