Monday, September 12, 2011

No Movie in my Mind

A brief thought. A month or so ago I was in a discussion with some friends and family about books and about what we see in our mind’s eye when we read novels.  I admitted that I don’t see the the story as a movie in my mind.  I know that others do.  I wonder how common it is not to have much of a visual picture of the story. 

I long ago knew that I wasn’t very good at imagining the geography of interior spaces described in stories.  Back in grade school there were tests we took in which we read descriptions of interior spaces and then had to sketch floor plans.  Surprisingly, mine were usually wrong. 

I say surprisingly because reading comprehension was always my highest score on most tests.  But comprehending substance and imagining space seem to be two different talents.

In my mind, the setting of stories are somewhat like old movie studio back lots and generic sets.  Just enough to suggest that we are in a woods or on main street or in the drawing room of a mansion.  Not the detail that today’s high definition productions require.  I don’t put any imagination into creating the settings. 

I’ve been wondering if that is one reason why I’ve never read much science fiction.  It is a great effort for me to create the settings in my mind if they don’t fit into some generic classification.