The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.
― Stephen King
Imagining: Midnight Writing
That’s me, thinking. I’m doing more than thinking. I’m imagining.
While in this moment, I’m writing fiction, I will do this for weddings, eulogies, inspirational stories, and all sorts of speeches. Everything but announcing stock options.
I’m working on a story set in and immediately outside of an old house in a town I used to live. The house is fictional, but it is in real location. I know the town well. The house, being fictional, is new to me, but is based on three homes I have lived in.
At midnight recently, I was working on it and needed to walk the house the way my protagonist would. So I closed my eyes and initiated an awake dream. As I did this, I took a selfie.
Why midnight? It’s quiet. Usually, no client calls. I’m relaxed and able to focus.
This is deeper than mere imagining. Instead of thinking, “Well, post-Victorian American homes had porches like… And the yard had a large…” I am actively remembering walking through it. I’m experiencing the room. I hear the floor squeak, but that’s muffled by the traffic. I smell chicken roasting. I bump into a chair. I feel the light coming through the window. This is all in a fictitious place.
This helps me write. I could look at a photo of such a home but then, it would just be a saccharine list of details. No heart. I want my reader to feel the room, not just see it.
Try it and let me know how it goes.
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