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Arash
July 28th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Do you always read books and visualise the detail exactly as described or do you change it to look the way you like?

At times, I ignore the author and see a person or scenery the way I like to see it.

Hell, sometimes I even go as far as taking out characters I don't like or adding in ones I do, changing the sex or profession of a person as I'm reading a novel or imagining a completely different environment to what the author is describing.

I'd be talking to a friend about a particular story, describing a scene or chapter when I'm stopped with "Hey, wait a minute, I read the book and I don't remember that!" That's when I remember that oh yeah, I made that part up. :D

That's why I'm not a particular fan of authors that go into too much detail and insist on describing a character's clothing and appearance inch by inch. I usually put such books away immediately. But then again some people like it that way, so I guess I should try and strike a balance in my own writing.

Wiggin
July 28th, 2007, 05:03 PM
I'm with you. My knowing that somebody has blond hair, brown eyes and high cheek bones just provides me with a list of factoids, it doesn't provide me with a mental image of what the person looks like. I know a number of people who fit the description; they all look different. So what's the point of telling me? If you the author for some reason think it's important I know what somebody looks like, provide me with a drawing. Or just accept that a book isn't a visual medium.

Arash, I suggest you stick to writing what you would enjoy reading.

MrBF1V3
July 28th, 2007, 09:54 PM
I like to read enough of a description to get an idea, but I don't want the whole picture. I have enough imagination to add the details myself. I try to write that way too. If you want a detailed description, take a ... hmmm ... no, that doesnt' work. Just read someone else.

What I do when I read is much worse than that. I stop mid-way through the story and figure out what I think should happen, and how the story should end. If I figure out exactly what happens it's hard not to see the author as unimaginative. And sometimes my endings are better.(IMHO)

B5

Tony Williams
July 30th, 2007, 01:46 AM
I prefer to have the characters described (even if only sketchily), because otherwise I find it harder to build up a clear mental picture of them.

As I'm reading, I built up a picture of the scenes being described. I can find it quite disorientating if the author later adds information which contradicts my picture. To quote a recent example, the story said that the characters reach the coast and turned to follow it. For some reason I imagined that they turned right so had the sea on their left. Later on it was revealed that the sea was on their right - that really threw me!

Wiggin
July 30th, 2007, 03:04 AM
To quote a recent example, the story said that the characters reach the coast and turned to follow it. For some reason I imagined that they turned right so had the sea on their left. Later on it was revealed that the sea was on their right - that really threw me!
Soo... They weren't sailing then? :)

Tony Williams
July 30th, 2007, 05:30 AM
:) No, walking!

vicki_girl
July 30th, 2007, 08:39 AM
I like to read enough of a description to get an idea, but I don't want the whole picture.

Ditto on that. I want to know just enough to build the picture. If the author tells me the characters are in a forest, that's enough. I can picture a forest. I don't need each type of tree described in detail, along with all the various woodland criters, etc., etc., etc.



As I'm reading, I built up a picture of the scenes being described. I can find it quite disorientating if the author later adds information which contradicts my picture. To quote a recent example, the story said that the characters reach the coast and turned to follow it. For some reason I imagined that they turned right so had the sea on their left. Later on it was revealed that the sea was on their right - that really threw me!

I am exactly the same way. That's why I like maps. Then when the author says the characters went in a particular direction I can figure out where the landmarks are and how the geography should be.

Severn
July 30th, 2007, 07:28 PM
I prefer to have the characters described (even if only sketchily), because otherwise I find it harder to build up a clear mental picture of them.

As I'm reading, I built up a picture of the scenes being described. I can find it quite disorientating if the author later adds information which contradicts my picture. To quote a recent example, the story said that the characters reach the coast and turned to follow it. For some reason I imagined that they turned right so had the sea on their left. Later on it was revealed that the sea was on their right - that really threw me!

Heh, I'm like this too. I get disoriented in real life (ie, no one should ever take directions from me in cars. I say 'go left, go left' while pointing right). So, when I find that the cliffs are on the left, not the right, I get quite muddled and just decide to ignore the author. I refer to maps a lot and am quite infuriated when I come across books without them.

That said though, I like to create my own images of characters, places etc, using the detail provided to build up my own pictures. I despise over-detailing, just as much as under-detailing annoys me. There needs to be a balance between the two. I prefer authors who give their readers some credit, and figure out that they do have brains, and can see images in their heads after all.

One thing I do, though, if I don't like the ending, or it doesn't end well...I'll make my own up. Had to do that recently with Jude Fisher's Fool's Gold trilogy. The worst ending I've ever read, nothing resolved (seriously, she killed off the kings/council for goodnessake, and didn't bother restabilising her continent before 'ending' the novel. The king died in the last five pages. !!). So, in my mind, because I quite like the characters, it's all worked out.

Tony Williams
July 31st, 2007, 02:23 AM
deleted.....

Tony Williams
July 31st, 2007, 02:23 AM
One thing I do, though, if I don't like the ending, or it doesn't end well...I'll make my own up. Had to do that recently with Jude Fisher's Fool's Gold trilogy. The worst ending I've ever read, nothing resolved (seriously, she killed off the kings/council for goodnessake, and didn't bother restabilising her continent before 'ending' the novel. The king died in the last five pages. !!). So, in my mind, because I quite like the characters, it's all worked out.

Could start a new trend on the web - people writing their own endings to other people's books.

The dramatic and comic possibilities are endless....:D