Picturing Characters

Today at work we discussed the three learning modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile) and took a little quiz to see which we are.

No surprise, I am an auditory learner.  We’ve discussed this before.

I did come to an interesting realization while doing this little exercise.  I told my coworkers that when I write, I hear dialog and imagine action, but I usually don’t picture people or scenery.  I know specific qualities of certain characters (Gretchen’s build, Mara’s coloration) but I never sit down and actively imagine them in their entirety.  (This is why I’ve done writing practice describing characters in full; I don’t do it otherwise.)

The question that made me stop and think was, “So when you read a book and someone is described, you don’t stop and imagine what they look like?”

No, I don’t.  This surprised even me a little.  I had no mental image of Ron or Hermione or Harry before I saw the first Harry Potter movie.  I can’t tell you what Rand or Richard look like from Wheel of Time and Sword of Truth, respectively.  I picture particular characteristics, like Hermione’s hair or Richard’s beard, but if the character was walking down the street I would not recognize them.  I remember visuals I have seen, like movie characters and real people, but I can not convert a description into more than a fleeting image.  I might see it when I read it, but the picture vanishes when I move on.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Little Details « Butterflies and Dragons
  2. Trackback: Finding Flaws | Butterflies and Dragons

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