The curse of a voracious reader is having an amazing imagination. Having an amazing imagination that you feed by reading more and more books and picturing each world vividly. From the power vibrating in the Elder Wand to the smoke curling from Smaug’s nostrils, you, the reader, can picture each world and be sucked in – the only problem is that you can’t physically go there and talk to Liz Bennet or Peter Pevensie or Percy Jackson, no matter how hard you wish.
The curse of a writer, who is usually a voracious reader as well, is that they can clearly envision the world they created in their mind. It’s your own world, with its own quirks and it’s utterly precious to you (flaws and all). The problem comes when you picture the world so clearly that you can’t articulate it. It’s so clear – but how to get the readers to see the world as you see it? To capture the wonder, the vividness? To make them love it as much as you do? You get caught up in mentioning little details – how the chair’s leg is slightly crooked or the curtain moves at a certain rate when the wind blows or how in the summer the cabin smells like cherry blossoms – and can’t move past them easily because you have to make the reader understand how wonderful this world is to you. The world is your baby. You must show it off to everyone.
This is a problem I’ve had recently. I can picture the library – called the Library, actually – in my WIP river tales so clearly that it’s frustrating to no end that I can’t capture it. The Library… oh, how I wish I could be in that library! How do I convey the wonder to myreaders that I feel when I picture it in my head? It’s the perfect get away, it owns every book in the world, it’s quiet, it smells of books and wonder and it’s so so amazing that I dream of spending one minute there! This is my dream library that’s manifested itself into my novel. It’s even more amazing than the Beast’s library in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, if you can believe it. But how do I convey the Library perfectly to the reader? I get so caught up in all the quirks the Library has, but aren’t necessary for the story to continue moving, that I end up with convoluted descriptions that appear randomly in conversation because I just have to add that the air smells like pages blooming and that there’s a perfect silence that most library’s here don’t have, despite librarians shushing people.
But… I wouldn’t give up the magical library in my head for the world, despite it being frustrating to write about. It’s my own little library. Sure, it’s in my head. Yes, I can only live vicariously through my character visiting it. But it’s mine. And it’s so beautiful I wish I could let every reader inside my head for a day to explore it with me.
Songs of the day: Catgroove by Parov Stelar
Current state of mind: refusing to be stressed (in a word: midterms)
Book I’m reading, though not this literal second obviously: Alice In Wonderland
Click on me for photo credits to the flying books. Now click on me for the B&B picture.