Many writing books talk about the need to find a fictive dream state and to become lost in the pages of a book.
That’s what reading is all about for me, the entrancement, the total immersion into it. And while a good movie does that in all its glory, the difference with a novel is the immersion is more active. By this I mean your own mind creates the details that colour it, based on how effectively the writer has worked to create it. I tend to think of it as the interplay between what the writer creates and how the reader imagines it.
Ever wondered if the world you see in your head is the same as another person reading the same book?
Stephen King talks about this in his book On Writing, in his description (that I have also talked about here before) of telling the reader to imagine a kitchen. Now we all have different kitchens in our head. Now he tells you there is a table in the centre. We all have different tables. But now he says there is a cage on the table (different cages?) but it’s when he says there is a while adult rabbit in the cage with a number 8 on the side in royal blue lettering, we all see the same thing. It’s about drawing the reader to see the relevant part, the rest is only detail and if you want the reader to know it’s a big country kitchen, then you use a line or two to set it up — but only if it’s relevant.
It’s the skill of the writer alongside the reader’s own interpretation and experience that I think must feed into the image that comes into the mind. So it seems likely the extraneous details we see will be different, but the relevant parts will be the same. So writers take heed — don’t give too many extraneous details or you are entering the world of fillers. Sure we need colour, but overdo it and we’re not moving plot.
I rarely seem to find myself in that being so lost in a good book I don’t want to climb out of it state, but when I do find that, wow I love it!
In my writing while I don’t set out specifically to make that happen, I certainly hope it does. For me it’s about creating something that really captures people, characters people can love and a plot that keeps them gripped. I hope I have achieved this with my novel — the feedback so far says just that, people not wanting to put it down. Phew. I hope that continues to happen as I will know all the hard work did something special. In the end.
I have a busy week of normal writerly things before the trip to Essex and Bath at the end of next week and the big 50th Kennedy anniversary. So this morning it’s all about getting back to the writing.
Have a good week y’all!
Ps I am now available for a blog tour if anyone wants me in the spotlight?