Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Imaginary worlds

I'm in the middle of writing a very difficult scene. It's set in downtown Charles Towne in 1718. There are six different characters in the scene and a variety of other stimuli such as horses, shops, a throng of citizens, the Charleston harbor, ships, slaves, taverns. . .etc. This scene involves some very important events that are pertinent to the story, so I need to keep each character active and involved in both the conversation and their surroundings. Normally in a scene, I put on some music, close my eyes and start typing. I can see the entire scene, the scenery, the characters in my head as if it were a movie playing before me. I can even picture the look on their faces, their eyes. I can hear their thoughts, feel their emotions. But this scene is an overload of sensory details. The heroine is trying to have a conversation with the hero but a horse clomps by and tosses mud on her brocade shoes. A ship bell tolls, a fisherman yells, a lady and her husband are quarreling across the way, an old man is singing a ballad under an oak tree and a tiny orphan sits begging by the tavern door. The stench of rum and horse manuer assail the heroine and she coughs while her sister begins to complains that the weather is too hot. Now, tell me, how can she have a reasonable conversation with the hero with all that going on?

Well, I suppose I'll figure it out, but it occurred to me that I've always been able to imagine entire worlds in my head without really trying. all the details just appear as if placed there by some secret director. (Either that, or I'm completely insane!) Even when I was a young girl, I would spend hours living in imaginary worlds inside my head. (No, I'm not on any medication...currently)

Anyway, I wonder if other writers out there are the same way? Or if you're reading this and can relate, perhaps you should be a writer.

Speaking of alternate worlds, tomorrow, I'll give a brief review of The Restorer by Sharon Hinck and I'll be having a drawing for a free copy for all those who dare to comment.


  1. Well I'm not a very good writer, but I definitely know what you mean. I can just sit there and make up a whole story with many different characters and settings. It's really fun!

  2. That is so cool that you can do that!! I hope you can find a way to write it just right!