Writing in pictures

Pound CoinsPhil: Occasionally, for work, I have to count money. I do this by putting it in little piles. Mostly these will be piles containing a pound (US readers, I mean a pound sterling. It’s like a dollar but worth more) but sometimes larger amounts. I do this because it makes it easy for me to keep track of the total.

I am counting by using visual stimuli rather than numbers.

Which is a bit like how we both write and how I at least, read.

When engrossed in a book, I don’t see the words. I read them and see the scene in my head. I don’t entirely understand how this works but I know that it does. I don’t even think I really see the individual words, they swirl around on the page and go directly into my head. If they don’t and I really do see each one, then the story hasn’t gripped me. Trying to read “War and Peace” was like this. Words were read, but no pictures formed in my mind. I eventually gave up and sent the book to a charity shop.

The reverse of the process is the same but I have to pay attention to the typing and word stuff. My brain has watched all of the scenes like a film, or at least like a well made BBC drama series. I can sort of see the character but I can definitely see the action, especially when it’s the really funny stuff and a bit preposterous. The problem is trying to transmit that to a reader. This is a horribly frustrating process. I want to act it out, direct a movie, do something visual but I know that the best way is via the medium of type. Real film making is a slow and painful process with all sort of compromises.

Only words can set you free. I just hope the pictures in the readers mind are as good as ones I’m seeing.

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