Post Reply How do you get immersed into a fiction novel?
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18
When it comes to reading fictional novels, how well do you visualize what is going on in the story?


A. Do you paint a picture and go from there?

B. Does your imagination come into play?

C. Are you able to see what is happening the same way you watch a movie? VIvidly and clearly?

D. Can you only read the words but can not visualize anything in the story?


E. I don't read fictional books?


My Turn:


Unfortunately, I can't visualize whenever I read because my mind is cluttered. So, I just listen to audiobooks and go on from there. But I do enjoy writing fictional stories. Reading isn't for me and I doubt it ever was. Far as writing, there is still hope and I refused to give up on myself too.


What do you think?
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18
I don't think it is quite like a movie. Maybe like a movie where most of the frame is always blacked out, so you can only see the things that are being directly referenced. Like, in a movie there's a lot of room for background details and things like that. I don't tend to fill in the blanks with my imagination, I just allow myself to only look at the things the book is telling me to look at.

I think writing to me is more like a movie. I try to visualize all those little details and then from there, I describe what details I want to bring to the attention of the reader. I think a good writer knows everything there is to know about the world and the characters, but has to selectively decide which few details to bring to light.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18

sundin13 wrote:

I don't think it is quite like a movie. Maybe like a movie where most of the frame is always blacked out, so you can only see the things that are being directly referenced. Like, in a movie there's a lot of room for background details and things like that. I don't tend to fill in the blanks with my imagination, I just allow myself to only look at the things the book is telling me to look at.

I think writing to me is more like a movie. I try to visualize all those little details and then from there, I describe what details I want to bring to the attention of the reader. I think a good writer knows everything there is to know about the world and the characters, but has to selectively decide which few details to bring to light.



When you read, do you have a sense of what the characters look like? Are you able to see a little what their appearance is based on the description?


One thing I noticed(well, I've always noticed) is the fact that I am horrible at describing a character appearance. Maybe it's because I want to see them the way I would if I was an excellent artist. But I suck at drawing and whenever I picture a character. I can't describe what they look like properly. That is one of my many writing flaws.

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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18

qualeshia3 wrote:


sundin13 wrote:

I don't think it is quite like a movie. Maybe like a movie where most of the frame is always blacked out, so you can only see the things that are being directly referenced. Like, in a movie there's a lot of room for background details and things like that. I don't tend to fill in the blanks with my imagination, I just allow myself to only look at the things the book is telling me to look at.

I think writing to me is more like a movie. I try to visualize all those little details and then from there, I describe what details I want to bring to the attention of the reader. I think a good writer knows everything there is to know about the world and the characters, but has to selectively decide which few details to bring to light.



When you read, do you have a sense of what the characters look like? Are you able to see a little what their appearance is based on the description?


One thing I noticed(well, I've always noticed) is the fact that I am horrible at describing a character appearance. Maybe it's because I want to see them the way I would if I was an excellent artist. But I suck at drawing and whenever I picture a character. I can't describe what they look like properly. That is one of my many writing flaws.



For the most part, I don't think I could really describe what characters look like. I'd say it is more like I attribute general features to them based on the type of character they are and then put on any distinct characteristics onto that template (like if they have a distinctive tattoo or blue hair or something like that). Sometimes when I'm reading I'll even ignore physical descriptions if it doesn't really match what I think that character would look like.

My writing largely mirrors those ideas. I want the reader to feel what my characters look like instead of me just telling them. I don't think that adds much to the story. Largely, I dislike just describing characters when they are introduced. Physical descriptions should have a purpose, like setting the tone by describing how a character is acting or highlighting how characters think about each other.

In my opinion.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18

sundin13 wrote:

For the most part, I don't think I could really describe what characters look like. I'd say it is more like I attribute general features to them based on the type of character they are and then put on any distinct characteristics onto that template (like if they have a distinctive tattoo or blue hair or something like that). Sometimes when I'm reading I'll even ignore physical descriptions if it doesn't really match what I think that character would look like.

My writing largely mirrors those ideas. I want the reader to feel what my characters look like instead of me just telling them. I don't think that adds much to the story. Largely, I dislike just describing characters when they are introduced. Physical descriptions should have a purpose, like setting the tone by describing how a character is acting or highlighting how characters think about each other.

In my opinion.


Ah, okay then. I like your opinion.


I just mentioned that because I at least want to give my readers an idea of what my characters look like. It's just hard and I don't want to repeat words. They obviously human(some of them) but I just wish I could show what they look like. Or maybe I can tell in a somewhat descriptive way.

I don't think you should reveal too much on a character just yet. GIve it some time but not too long.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 8/1/18
as I have an active imagination, that comes into play and nothing more. I don't stress about things, don't force things, I simply read and allow my mind to work with what the author is trying to give me. however, if presented wrong, I will result to skimming the chapters and be done with it. basically how I'd watch something. if it holds my "attention span" of what I deem important then I won't fast forward it.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18

niotabunny wrote:

as I have an active imagination, that comes into play and nothing more. I don't stress about things, don't force things, I simply read and allow my mind to work with what the author is trying to give me. however, if presented wrong, I will result to skimming the chapters and be done with it. basically how I'd watch something. if it holds my "attention span" of what I deem important then I won't fast forward it.


Interesting comment.


Maybe I should try that. But I should also try to clear my mind.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18
I have a pretty creative imagination so I'm usually just going with the flow of it.
If it's a book I can immerse myself in* I often have a clear picture in my mind. For the best** of them this is indeed akin to a movie but for the majority I'd liken it to a VN where I only have fully fleshed out pictures of the characters and certain situations.

For the books I love the most the image in my head is often so cemented that I'd do my best to actively avoid a hypothetical movie adaption because I'd rather stick with the way things are in my head.

*this doesn't always work equally well and not with all books. Sometimes it's the prose that is "unwieldy" to parse, sometimes it's a dislike for the acting character or the setting. Sometimes it's just something in the way the story is told, Russian works are something I generally can't immerse myself in very well just to name an example. Honestly, it's kind of hard to explain but I've had books or sometimes just chapters where I just wanted to be done with it so my imagination takes a backseat to more words/minute or, in extreme cases, skimming.

**Those are not necessarily the books with the most detailed descriptions but the ones with solid worldbuilding, relatable characters and engaging stories. The more time I want to spend with a book the better my imagination is at filling in all the blanks.
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Posted 1/7/18 , edited 1/7/18
I just kind of get some of what the author provides, I don't have a really clear picture. I usually don't pay much attention to character descriptions, I read them along with the rest of the book (I rarely skim, though I may not finish a book if it doesn't appeal to me), but it doesn't necessarily all register and what does I promptly forget.

But I read a fair amount of fiction and tend to enjoy it. I do get a feel for the characters to some degree, I suppose and so, like the above poster, also sometimes want to avoid movie adaptations or am somewhat conflicted on whether or not to see them.

What extremely little writing I do offers little to no physical description.
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Posted 1/9/18 , edited 1/9/18
Thanks for the comments, cool people.
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Posted 8/1/18 , edited 8/1/18
My answer for me is an eccentric, yet creative imagination is one reason to feeling immersed in a story and visualizing the characters, the settings and plot in book I am intrigued in.

An intriguing plot and characters also contributes to why I will continue reading a novel.
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Posted 13 days ago , edited 13 days ago

qualeshia3 wrote:


Ah, okay then. I like your opinion.


I just mentioned that because I at least want to give my readers an idea of what my characters look like. It's just hard and I don't want to repeat words. They obviously human(some of them) but I just wish I could show what they look like. Or maybe I can tell in a somewhat descriptive way.

I don't think you should reveal too much on a character just yet. GIve it some time but not too long.



I have to say I don't usually visualise characters. I have noticed that the books I buy (so "real" books by "proper" authors) don't tend to focus much on character descriptions. A couple of quick points to show the most striking features like brightly coloured hair, a visible scar, arresting eyes, a limp, unusual clothing etc. and you're good. Unless you're writing some sort of porn where a specific description is necessary I don't think a full paragraph of description is needed.


What someone looks like doesn't come up very often in the real world. Once you recognise someone you don't really need to think about how they look. Obviously in a visual medium (like anime) you can see what everyone looks like all the time, but you don't have to pay attention to every visible part of someone when you're talking to them.

Maybe I'm being too literal.
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Posted 5 days ago , edited 5 days ago
Hmm. Everything from the characters, world, relationships, plot lines, ect, I visualize as I read. I can't help it. It's a better experience than watching a movie. It seems more personal. With books, you're able to hear the characters' thoughts and really able to get to know the characters. I really like that.

As far as cities and what everything looks like, I prefer if the author gives me an idea of it and just lets my imagination do the rest. There's some things that can ruin the immersion for me. Some writers go overboard with describing cities/areas to the point it seems like a filler. I just skim through those bits. Terry Goodkind was really bad about it with The Sword of Truth. That book series also had some plot holes that bothered me. It's why I didn't like the Shannara series by Terry Brooks.
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