What if you couldn’t imagine your favorite book characters? What if your mind couldn’t put their faces together from the text on the page? Or bring their movements to life in your imagination?
Welcome to my world.
I cannot create 3D images in my mind. I can recall live-action movies and TV scenes I’ve watched. But I can’t generate a new image.
When I read, the images come across more like disjointed comic book panels. The author sets the stage and I see a painting of the setting as described. Next, there’s usually a verb involved. The character stands up, sees something, touches a door, etc. Those panels focus on the thing committing the action–as a character stands up, I see legs moving, as the character sees something, I see eyes moving.
This is not to say I never see any movement in my mind’s eye. I do. When I have to conjure movement, I use 2D animation.
That’s right. I see all my favorite characters as goddamn cartoons.
And it’s usually based on a couple physical traits that are repeated early on. For example:
Baron Ruber, from Quest for Camelot is pretty much how I view adult K’vothe from The Name of the Wind.
Now, I’m well aware that if I saw this in film that the character would look very different, but all I remember that he has red hair and he’s a powerful dude. Boom. Ruber.
I don’t even really LIKE that movie. I only appreciate the fact that there’s a gryphon in it! (gryphons are undervalued and should be in pretty much everything).
On a very rare occasion, I can sort of paste a bunch of those comic book panels together to make 3D motion using my imagination. But it’s only for a moment or two of motion and it’s blurry.
I can’t think in 3D motion. So all my favorite characters are cartoons or expressed visually in my head as pieces of themselves. My mental camera zeroes in on whatever the text is describing and nothing else.
I’ve gotten the impression that not everyone is like this, but I’m not sure. Let me know! Can you think in 3D motion? Do your characters come to life in your mind like a live-action movie or like a cartoon?