How do you experience reading fiction?

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AceofPens
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16 Jun 2017, 2:45 pm

The other day my sister and I were discussing reading and, prompted by a memory of how visually-focused her creative writing is, I asked her if she saw the faces of the characters while she read. It turns out that she does. I certainly don't, however, which lead me to wonder what other differences exist between individual readers. While reading fiction is a very immersive experience for me, sound is the primary link between my mind and the text. I never see faces while reading - hands maybe, and clothing, too, but just blurry snippets. Room descriptions tend to go right over my head, no matter how beautiful or well-written. Voices, though - they are crystalline in my mind.

Summarily, I'm not a visual reader. How about you?


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Redxk
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16 Jun 2017, 9:39 pm

Faces are fairly indistinct or perhaps generic, unless the author has taken great pains in describing them. Rooms and other places are always repurposed visions of places I've been many times. Sometimes one or two things are added, maybe. I've always wondered if other people just see familiar places or whether others are able to imagine something original, or at least more faithful to the author's telling of it.



EzraS
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17 Jun 2017, 2:27 am

Sometimes when I see a movie version of a book I've read, I realize how poorly I visualized the characters and the settings.



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17 Jun 2017, 2:40 am

AceofPens wrote:
The other day my sister and I were discussing reading and, prompted by a memory of how visually-focused her creative writing is, I asked her if she saw the faces of the characters while she read. It turns out that she does. I certainly don't, however, which lead me to wonder what other differences exist between individual readers. While reading fiction is a very immersive experience for me, sound is the primary link between my mind and the text. I never see faces while reading - hands maybe, and clothing, too, but just blurry snippets. Room descriptions tend to go right over my head, no matter how beautiful or well-written. Voices, though - they are crystalline in my mind.

Summarily, I'm not a visual reader. How about you?


You pose an interesting question. Generally vague images, which I don't think is unusual. Most of the fictional books I have read have taken place locally though, which aids in the visualization. However I have a preoccupation with prose and grammar and if the writer lacks in these areas it can prove distracting.



nick007
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17 Jun 2017, 5:35 am

I'm not a visual person at all. I think in words NOT pictures so I don't visualize people while reading.


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20 Jun 2017, 10:11 pm

I definitely think visually when writing. With the story I am writing now, the entire sequence of a scene or a moment in the story plays out in vivid detail. There are other moments that aren't as clear where I have to fill in the blanks, but even those become clear visually as I work with them.

I would call myself a visual reader. I can envision the characters, the world they are in, and what they are doing. I am currently reading Hamlet by William Shakespeare. While I have seen a few different interpretations of the play on stage and on film, I see the story as if it is happening in real life. It is almost like my own little movie version of a book playing in my mind.