Mind the Imagination Gap

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Prof. Sky Alton
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:53 pm
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Mind the Imagination Gap

Post by Prof. Sky Alton »

I often experience something I call reader vertigo. I’m not sure if it has a more ‘official’ name but it’s a sense of disorientation when something in a scene turns out later not to be how you imagined it.

It can be pretty big, like getting confused about who’s narrating a particular section or thinking that characters are still in one location or time period when the action has actually moved on. Other times, it’s just realising that your mental picture of something doesn’t match the scene as described. For instance, in my imagination the door to the Great Hall is on the left side of the Hogwarts Entrance Hall when it’s actually described as being to the right. I realised a couple of weeks ago that for some reason in my head I have the Room of Requirement opening off the window side of the corridor, so into what ought to be thin air. Trying to imagine it ‘how it should be’ makes me dizzy and shocks me out of the narrative.

Sometimes it’s the fault of the writing where an establishing detail isn’t brought in quite early enough, something I try really hard to rectify when I’m editing my writing or someone else’s. Other times it’s just an odd fluke of my imagination or my failure to pay attention to small details.

Has anyone else ever experienced this or is it just me?
"Some things never change, turn around and the time has flown. Some things stay the same, though the future remains unknown."
(Av/sig by S. Elf)


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