It’s now or never…

January 28, 2010 at 18:37 (General)

A vivid imagination can be both a curse and a blessing.
She supplies me with ideas for my stories.
And prevents me from watching horror movies, by threatening to change my dreams into nightmares.
She is one vicious lady.

She accompanies me every time I read a book. She is there, by my side, translating into images what the writer painted with words.
And she is good at it.
Given enough time, she creates an image of the main character in my head.
And here’s the worst thing that can happen.
Somewhere along the way, the writer decides that after 100+ pages of the story the main protagonist should be described in detail.
No, no, no!
He already exists in my head, please, don’t do this.
Do not tell me now that he is bold, short or that he misses a tooth.
You should have told me that earlier. Shame on you dear writer. I have already gotten used to MY vision of your character.
You have upset my imagination now.
She hates it when someone destroys her carefully constructed visions and images.

In my previous post I have complained about writers who mention too many details.
This time I want to talk about giving details too late.

I do not like to discuss the work of other people. I am no literary critic.
I will use my Samuel again.
I could say that while writing a story about him I am trying to avoid mistakes made by other writers.
One of the more serious mistakes is withholding vital information from the reader for too long.

My Samuel is 40 years old. He is not handsome. He is average. And he is a vampire.
We all have our own ideas of what a vampire looks like. However, I believe that the word vampire for most of us means someone young and beautiful.
Keeping that in mind I will mention that he is not all that good-looking and not that young, while introducing him
You can actually see that I did that by reading my post Samuel says hi.

Ok, to keep it short and simple.
Readers have their own imagination.
While reading your story, they will use their imagination to translate your words into images.
Supply them with the most important information early on, or don’t do it at all.

Hopefully, I will have the time soon, too discuss all this in greater detail.
For now, this is it.
Thank you for reading.
I invite you to a discussion if you agree/disagree with me.


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