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Do you visualize a book in your head, like a movie playing in your brain?

  • Yes

    Votes: 47 81.0%
  • Once in a blue moon

    Votes: 7 12.1%
  • Never

    Votes: 4 6.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I read, I often lose myself in a book to the point that I don't even realize I'm flipping pages. It becomes a movie of sorts, playing in my brain. The same thing happens when I'm writing. I'm curious to see how many people this happens to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've asked a few people about this, and they had no idea what I meant. I used to think it happened to everyone, and then I wondered if it was just me. I'm so happy other people know what I'm talking about!
 

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While I can certainly have strong visuals and audios going on in my head if the author is doing his/her job right, I would say it's never like a movie: it's much better than that. :) When I read, I "hear" every word and savor the good ones -- I guess one of the reasons I'm not a fast reader (not painfully slow, but definitely not anywhere near the fastest).
 

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I certainly have some visual images while reading, but I'm not conscious of generating any sound or voices while reading. It's definitely not like a movie for me.

Mike
 

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No...reading for me isn't like a movie, it's like reading. ;D  it's hard to describe, I don't see the scenes or people, I internalize the words and almost feel them rather than see images....

Betsy
 

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For me, I think it's a little of both - a semi-visual creation but also a very word-based one. I have an idea of what characters and locations look like, and it's normally ruined if I then watch any adaptation of a book! Fascinating idea for a thread as it's interesting to see what both readers and writers make of this.
 

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Yes, I do. If the world building is good I'll sink right into that story and it plays like a movie in my mind.  :)
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
No...reading for me isn't like a movie, it's like reading. ;D it's hard to describe, I don't see the scenes or people, I internalize the words and almost feel them rather than see images....
Tony Richards said:
Mostly, yes, it is like an internal movie. But how strong the images are depends on the writer ... some authors are far more visual and even cinematic than others, and they make the process easier and generally more powerful.
Agree with both quoted above. I feel the emotions as written rather than see it on a person's (actor's) face. I do see the setting though depending on the imagery provided by the author. I avoid thinking of it as a movie, because in a real movie, I find myself looking for indications that it is a movie set (he he he) or that they used a digital interface.

After reading a particularly good book (not during), that's when I sit back and evaluate - will this be good material for a movie on the big screen, a movie-for-tv/dvd, tv series, or a stage play? I factor in mass appeal, and budget hurdles, probable site locations and potential musical scores. I avoid imaginary casting for obvious reasons.
 

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When the writing is good, i think i visualize it in my head, but it's not the same as watching a movie. In fact, i avoid movie versions of stories because i don't want them to pollute my own imagination.

When the writing is not-so-good, my brain struggles to concoct the image and i generally lose interest. This is the #1 reason i put down books in the middle. Well, #2 behind just bad style. :)
 

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tx dartrider said:
Agree with both quoted above. I feel the emotions as written rather than see it on a person's (actor's) face.
This. It's more like it's happening to me, I'm part of it, than like watching a movie.

Betsy
 

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Not exactly, but it is hard to describe. However, I do remember after reading one of Harry Potter books remembering a scene very vividly. So vividly that I thought I was remembering the movie, but I hadn't seen the movie. But usually it's more like the idea of the thing rather than a picture. Think of an impressionist painting. If I'm really engrossed in a book, it's like the medium disappears and I'm in a sense there. But it doesn't mean I usually see it in the same kind of clarity as you would a movie. I don't visualize things all that well. If you ask me to make a drawing of my house, I can draw all the parts of it, but they won't fit together into a pleasing whole. But change one small thing, and I'll notice the difference.

It's like in dreams: what I am actively focused on can be quite clear, but other things are the idea of things. It's like the mind is an overworked stagehand who makes mistakes. I remember waking up thinking "That was weird. Skyscrapers don't sway in the breeze, and are hardly ever in pastel colors." But in the dream I hadn't noticed the discrepancy.

So I don't usually have a vivid movie-like presentation, but that doesn't mean there is no presentation. Errors in the description will stand out, even if I hadn't truly visualized it.
 

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The books I enjoy most definitely become a movie in my head. They don't need to be highly descriptive; I can fill in the blanks on my own. And, like an earlier commenter, it's also the way I write.

Because stories take on a visual quality for me, I find that the models pictured on book covers rarely resemble the characters I picture in my mind. I don't pay much attention to them before I start to read, but when I finish and look back at the cover, my reaction is usually, "Nah, that's not them." Does anyone else react this way or is it just me?

 

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nope.  the "movie in my mind" concept has always confused me....  i don't understand how people turn word on a page into a picture in their mind.  guess i'm missing that switch.
 

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Movie, but more than a movie. I am there, watching what's going on. I am not aware of reading words, unless I am tripped up by misspellings or confusing language.
 
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