03 September 2007

Drawing on imagination

What I love about rewriting is that it's so easy to slip back into the world: the scene is set, the details are down, the real world melts away and I become someone else. Funny how it's usually a twenty-five-year-old male soldier who is tidy. Wouldn't my mum love that! Maybe I should channel him when I'm in my "real" life. And it is like having two lives.

Ever since I've been a kid, I've had an active other life happening. Often it's been based around a movie I've developed an obsession for, a book I've loved and read; more often it's based around my novel. I sometimes think people would think me (and probably all my sibling writers) very odd if they could see what was going on inside my head. Perhaps they would find it scary. I can slip away while I'm driving -- oh, don't worry: I do keep the driving details with me -- into a sort of auditory other world, where I'll talk to characters. I'm sure the other drivers think me mad. Maybe they think I'm listening to music. When I go to bed at night, that's where my mind will slip off to. Maybe it's best my husband doesn't know just how many people share our bed.

In my medical scientist days, I drew blood from elderly folk in end-stage renal failure, and talked to them through their hallucinations. I wonder what my hallucinations would be -- would I slip into the world of my novel. Would I talk of setts and coarsebark trees and eaglons and venipers? Or would I focus on becoming one of the characters? Goodness knows what I might say -- rather a daunting thought really (and perhaps I should be glad I don't write crime!).

Society is funny in its view of creativity -- we value it as long as we can separate it from reality. But perhaps that's a good thing -- and a survival tactic. Strange, though, how it makes me feel the world is a poorer place -- especially for all those poor sods who never "waste" time going to an imaginary world. How much richer their lives would be if they only had imaginations that drove them to write. (Yeah, yeah, I know: the world has too many writers and not enough readers. Still, the thought intrigues...)


Snail said...

Staff meetings. The perfect time for slipping into the fictional world of the novel. I've come up with some pleasing plot twists, lines of dialogue, turns of phrase and similes while stuck in one of our interminable gabfests. (I had a much more colourful term for it but bowdlerized myself.)

Tracey said...

lol. Yes, amazing what your brain can come up with when there's not much going on to keep it entertained. And amazing what the mind of a novelist will come up with.