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Old 02-10-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
kennyc
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Originally Posted by hidari View Post
KennyC is a poet and he hope he dont know it.
Just dont blow it. Read your first rhyme of dimes.
Don't go blind with a pirate's mind.
Graham Green had the splinter, even in the Winter.

Dung is to poetry as hidari is to writing it.......
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash View Post
I read the words, but I'm rarely conscious of the words on the page while reading fiction. Instead, I see the story, hear the dialog, played out in my mind. I feel and see the character's thoughts, expressed on their faces. Tension or joy in their movements. Murderous intent or relief in their eyes.

This happens even with crappy writing, and sometimes with non-fiction, if the writing lends itself to imagery. History books, for example, often describe people and their lives, places and I start to process the text the same way as fiction.

I've always read this way, for as long as I can remember. It's the reason I am bothered when fiction writers drop in a dry infodump that is all data with no context - it's like running into a white wall with nothing to look at, nothing to feel.

Edit to add - It's not a conscious thing, it just happens. The only time I have to work at it is if there are other distractions in the room, my mind, my life.
I'm a bit like this too. However, it doesn't always happen immediately and it's not always successful.

For example, last night while I was reading A Town Like Alice, I started the chapter knowing there was about 50 minutes of reading ahead of me. If the story visualisation is not going well, I'll notice the 49m, the 48m, the 47m and so on. Last night, there was this blur in my memory where I was reading the words, but I don't really remember them. I do remember a conversation between two people, a recounting of events from one character to another. I saw them both sitting in a flat doing this. Then I noticed the screen at one point and saw that I had 2m of reading left.

I find that even in a book I'm really enjoying, not every chapter will be like this. For some, I notice the reading every step of the way. At other times I'm not really sure what happens, but one or two chapters have just passed and I "experienced" whatever happened rather than read it. I consider this experience to be reading "nirvana".

To the OP though, I do appreciate the sentiment of reading quickly to get through more books because they are so available. I actually feel under stress to read more because there's so much to get through. My excitement in experiencing a whole new range of authors that I couldn't find in my local bookstores has almost being replaced by the horror that I can't read them all. Amazon, eLibraries, independent authors. It's amazing - and tragic at the same time. The most shocking is that I'm having trouble to committing to books I really want to read just because of the size. 1200 pages? That's 4 books in one!

I can see this coming to a head - and at that point I'm likely to change my priorities. Not sure when that will be though.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by hidari View Post
KennyC is a poet and he hope he dont know it.
...
But his feet show it.
They're long fellows.


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Old 02-11-2013, 09:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
I wanna be a pirate too!
Warning: use extreme caution in mentioning the "P" word in this forum! Some folks might get a bit wound up

Anyway, it is an interesting topic. I do visualize what is happening in a book that I'm reading. It is great to become that engrossed in a book, however it does slow me down in that if I don't get a good image, sometimes I will go back and re-read the paragraph I just read. I'm not what you would call a fast reader, maybe 45-50 pages an hour for a good book, less if the book is not that compelling and I start to fidget (or if my wife is watching Glee and that damn show just sucks me every time even though it's so silly and melodramaitc).
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by caleb72 View Post
I'm a bit like this too. However, it doesn't always happen immediately and it's not always successful.

For example, last night while I was reading A Town Like Alice, I started the chapter knowing there was about 50 minutes of reading ahead of me. If the story visualisation is not going well, I'll notice the 49m, the 48m, the 47m and so on. Last night, there was this blur in my memory where I was reading the words, but I don't really remember them. I do remember a conversation between two people, a recounting of events from one character to another. I saw them both sitting in a flat doing this. Then I noticed the screen at one point and saw that I had 2m of reading left.

I find that even in a book I'm really enjoying, not every chapter will be like this. For some, I notice the reading every step of the way. At other times I'm not really sure what happens, but one or two chapters have just passed and I "experienced" whatever happened rather than read it. I consider this experience to be reading "nirvana".
This is what I mean. If I can't get into that "reading nirvana", then it's not a good enough book (or, if in a series, I'm getting to the point of wanting to read something else), and it'll become hard to finish.

Quote:
To the OP though, I do appreciate the sentiment of reading quickly to get through more books because they are so available. I actually feel under stress to read more because there's so much to get through. My excitement in experiencing a whole new range of authors that I couldn't find in my local bookstores has almost being replaced by the horror that I can't read them all. Amazon, eLibraries, independent authors. It's amazing - and tragic at the same time. The most shocking is that I'm having trouble to committing to books I really want to read just because of the size. 1200 pages? That's 4 books in one!
So true! I want to read this, and that, and classics, and reread a few series, and..... AAAARGH.

Music is so much easier. You can switch genres, styles or artist every 74 minutes, or if you need to, every 3-5
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #21
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Hmm, I usually "see" the action while I read, almost like seeing a movie. It never occurred to me that there could be any other way to enjoy fiction.

I get absorbed in the story, I am there, I get angry and happy and sad and frustrated and all that stuff. I take it very seriously and while I'm "in" the story the people in there seem real and their concerns seem real and they matter.

I even caught myself sub-vocalizing a few times which I guess it may sound a bit weird...
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #22
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.

Music is so much easier. You can switch genres, styles or artist every 74 minutes, or if you need to, every 3-5
Mumford and Sons

Last edited by kennyc; 02-11-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #23
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I judge how well a Movie scene or character ,'stuck to/exceeded my Minds Eye image' of a book I have read (before hand ). I hate it when 'other stuff' (not IN the book) just gets added.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:40 AM   #24
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I don't think I visualize - I do get totally immersed in a book, but I don't think it's visual for me. More, I think, it's audio, like someone reading the story to me (which may be why, on the whole, I don't like first person narratives. "I" did *not* do thus-and-such...)
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:57 AM   #25
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I visualize but usually get completely lost in fight scenes. The narrator might have had a character fall to their knees, then decapitate a tall person in the next breath. It messes up my mental image.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #26
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I don't think I visualize - I do get totally immersed in a book, but I don't think it's visual for me. More, I think, it's audio, like someone reading the story to me (which may be why, on the whole, I don't like first person narratives. "I" did *not* do thus-and-such...)
This is more my experience as well.

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #27
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I visualize but usually get completely lost in fight scenes. The narrator might have had a character fall to their knees, then decapitate a tall person in the next breath. It messes up my mental image.
That's just bad writing then.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:27 AM   #28
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Historical books, particularly non-fiction, sharpen my sense of visualisation and world-building tremendously and that takes a lot of time, particularly the time spent seeking out secondary material to better understand that world.

Many years ago I read a book about the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia Bring Out Your Dead by J.H. Powell and to this day I can smell the mosquito-infested water barrels in the alleys and the stench of the makeshift hospital and feel the splash of mud on Water Street.

After reading The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara I visited Civil War battlegrounds, including Gettysburg. At Little Round Top I was overcome with a faintness, an explosion of sensation, I've never experienced before or after. I 'saw' the terrorized, desperate faces of the filthy soldiers as they gripped their bayonets. I could smell their stale sweat. When I could bear to reread the book, picturing the location so exactly was at times a horrific experience.

Now I'm reading The Diary of Samuel Pepys online. I've spent so much time studying maps and virtually touring on-line sites such as Westminster Hall that 1659/60 London is becoming real. I know why pedestrians wish to hug the wall because I can see the slops pour down from upper windows to green-slimed, slippery mud and puddles below. Sometimes I want to read with a perfume-drenched handkerchief over my nose.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #29
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That's just bad writing then.
Or my knowledge of fighting is lacking. Or my original visualization of the characters is wrong. Something usually falls apart for me in the action scenes.
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:29 PM   #30
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Or my knowledge of fighting is lacking. Or my original visualization of the characters is wrong. Something usually falls apart for me in the action scenes.
Yep - I've been there. Particularly for action scenes. I think it has something to do with the need to create pace vs the need to create imagery. If the author becomes overly visual, the writing will slow its pace and you'll probably think the action scenes are quite boring. However, if the author focuses on pace, there are a few more connections to be made by the reader as the writing itself tends to become a little more sparse to keep things moving.

So my responsibility as a reader becomes all the greater to bridge any gaps. Particularly in action scenes I find that I'm not always up to the task.

Of course, it also might be as KennyC mentioned with the author not striking the right balance between description and pace.
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