Ok, this is a copy/paste of a FB Note I wrote a couple years ago, but the direction of my ‘How I Write’ posts brought be back to thinking about this—more so since the writing exercises I’m trying to come up with, as far as I can figure out from my perspective, revolve greatly around visual thinking—I think—I can’t really tell, because of the simple fact that I really don’t understand how non-visual thinkers actually think at all.
Ok, this is a question that I have for all authors and pretty much everyone else as well (I only say authors at all because the question pretty much started there, but I really want thoughts from all the other brand and breed of people I have residing in my FB Land).
Ok, while reading a chapter from the book ‘How to Write Magical Words: a Writer’s Companion’ (which falls under being the only how-to book on writing that I would pass along to others—as opposed to others which normally make great paper-weights… not because they’re useless, so much, but because they tend to be written with so much info overload that by the time you actually finish processing it all, you’re on your deathbed and completely missed your chance to write a book–basically, this is written in a way that’s easier to process and still have time write with its advice). Under the chapter ‘Visualizing the Story,’ written by CE Murphy, she reveals that she does not see pictures in her head when reading, listening to music, etc. and that it baffles her that others do. Now, this baffled me close to my brain exploding.
A similar confusion came to me while watching the HBO movie ‘Temple Grandin’—about the title character who is a high functioning autistic—basically a doctor asks her about the way she remembers things, asking if she actually sees everything in her head, and her response was pretty much quoting what was going through my head at the time, “don’t you?”
I’ve always been able to see absolutely everything in my head. When I do math, I see it in my head, when I type, I can see where my fingers are without looking, etc. I say I have photographic memory because I actually see all my memories photographically… all of them. Now, over the years, I’ve come to believe that the level that I do this at is simply higher than other people, but at no point has it ever fully occurred to me that some people actually can’t visualize like this at all.
In this chapter, author Faith Hunter also confesses to being among the metal-visually impaired, and Murphy even mentions that her father, who was apparently a teacher, knew nothing of this visualizing thing and wished he did (as he would have completely changed the way he taught–and mentioning this also made me suddenly understand some of my teachers that I usually ended up ignoring and going off on my own instead, and why none of them seemed to understand how I did things like math). Further, Murphy throws in a statistic that says 2/3 of people see pictures… so the question I have for you all is, which of you are the 2/3, and which are the remaining 1/3? And for you 1/3, I really, really need to know, how do you function? I mean, how to you read, do math, listen to music, get into a movie, how do you remember what happened two seconds ago, etc?
Oh, and I also need to know because when I get done with Ravenblood, you 1/3 can’t be beta-readers, the whole magic system wont make sense to you at all, apparently.
So, my entry with the exercises may be delayed depending on speed of responses, because I really would like to find one of you 1/3 to try to get an idea of what the world looks like to you (as much as possible, anyway).
- temple grandin meeting……emotions!!!!! (autisticandproud.wordpress.com)
- The world needs all kinds of minds – Temple Grandin (myscienceacademy.org)
- Things You Didn’t Know About the Awesome Faith Hunter @hunterfaith #faithhunter #JaneYellowrock (7evildwarves.wordpress.com)
- “different not less”…..by Temple Grandin (autisticandproud.wordpress.com)
- The Best of the Best in Autism Advocacy (theconnorchronicles.wordpress.com)
- World Autism Awareness Day: 25 Movies About Autism on Netflix, DVD and Blu-ray (reellifewithjane.com)
- “The Process” (cristianmihai.net)
- The Autistic Child – More Than Meets the Eye (brainblogger.com)
- Celebrated Author Temple Grandin to Appear on Autism-Live.com, March 4, 2013 (prweb.com)
- 15 Tips for Beginner Novelists (projectworkingtitle.com)