It’s amazing how brains work. Sometimes, it seems like we’re all on the same page, and then other times… we see things very differently.
When I was probably 12 or 13, I remember reading the Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. I really enjoyed the story, and I thought one of my parents’ friends would like it too. I’ll never forget my mom’s response when I suggested it.
She told me that he doesn’t ‘see’ when he reads. She thought he wouldn’t enjoy the book because he wouldn’t be able to visualize the images that the author used.
For little twelve-year-old me, this was an absolute breakthrough. Mostly because I never knew that anyone could see the images in their heads. I assumed the description was just there to give the story more depth. I had no idea that it meant something to a lot of people.
So yes, I’m a writer who can’t visualize anything. Every once in a while I can pick out shapes in my mind, but usually, it’s blank. You know what I can do though? I can hear sounds. That’s what draws me into a book – sparkling and realistic dialogue because I can hear it. I love the back and forth, and it’s a lot of what I focus on in my own writing.
Even now, when I write, I have to remind myself to put in physical descriptions. If I didn’t collect pictures of my characters on Pinterest, I would have no idea what they looked like.
I’m curious about what other readers focus on. Do visuals draw you in? Or do they just leave a blank?