Imagination in Writing

There are always those people, whether in class or on the job, that never seem to be paying any attention. That was me. I remember times in class that I would have to ask a friend to catch me up, or re-read a section of text that we had just gone over because I had missed it. There were countless hours during homework that my pencil would stop moving and my mind would start drifting. Ever since I can remember I carried a running story in my head. I would randomly start new stories, or switch between a couple. I had different centuries, characters, plots, and places, but I always had them straight in my head. I carried running dialogue in my head while doing chores such as dishes, gardening, mowing the lawn, or cleaning my room. I left out no details, whether it be weather, time of day, clothing, or food, I always knew what my characters were up to. 

As time went on, I had a lot of tense situations when I was a child. Situations I couldn’t escape. So I created my own escape. When things became tense or I became a target, my mind would retreat to the 1800s where Eliza was riding her Palomino bareback across a green pasture, or where Cory was fishing in a beautiful creek on a sunny afternoon barefoot and wearing overalls. I would recreate the scenarios I dealt with and have my characters overcome the obstacles I could not. They became the heroes I couldn’t become and with bravery faced their adversaries, stood up to them, and won. Every. Single. Time. Then as I got a little older, my characters experienced the emotions I faced with me. When I would retreat to my room, Eliza would be crying in her room and someone would come and comfort her with the words I wanted to be comforted with. It was then I realized how to make a character come alive. When I would lay down at night, unable to sleep, the book would pick up exactly as it had left off. Eliza would wipe her eyes, pick herself up, look in the mirror, smile, and say, “I can do this.” Then the next morning, I would do the same. I lived the life I wanted through my mind. I created people and characters that related to the people in my life. I created a different version of me. 

When I was diagnosed with Graves Disease at fourteen, I retreated to those places once again. When I was in so much pain I didn’t want to move, my characters reappeared riding horses, fishing, running, laughing, and living life with their families. The experiences I had in life shaped me to become the writer I am today. I can bring a character alive and put them through situations that are painful, unfair, and devastating and evoke every emotion that accompanies those scenarios. However, you can always overcome, and that is what my characters have proved time and again. Just like I have overcome so many of my obstacles in life through my characters, there are so many that do the same. So how much does imagination affect writing? An indescribable amount. Imagination opens the door to whatever reality you want to create and brings it to life. For a writer, imagination is everything. 


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