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TOPIC: I write novels with Aphantasia

I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 7 months ago #2513

  • marie8948
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So ever since I was little, I would write short stories all the time. As I got older, I began writing full length novels and poetry, all very detailed. I am currently writing a book on Wattpad with over 100,000 reads on it (I write action/horror novels) and I would like to consider myself a pretty talented author.
I really don't think having aphantasia sets me back with my writing too much. I write with very vivid detail, but I don't actually see anything that I write. Perhaps it's only because I read SO many books throughout my childhood and I've always excelled in English. When I write, I don't see my characters at all. I choose what color of hair they have, their height and weight and so forth, but I don't actually see the character I have created in my head. I don't see any faces. It's a little upsetting because it would be so amazing to actually write and have my characters come to life in my mind. When I write certain scenes, the scenes don't play out in my mind, so I have to be extra careful to get all of the details correct because I've accidentally switched small details around in my books before because I'm not actually seeing them. I'd love to share bits of some of my books to anyone on here who would be interested. Just message me and we'll talk.

Does anyone else write or draw and understand what I am describing? Where you can easily write/draw something, you just can't picture it in your mind.
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 7 months ago #2514

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I enjoy writing and drawing and also can go into a lot of detail and paint a picture with words. I tend to describe my internal thought process as being like a book, so feel that aphantasia may actually aid in my writing as the words are already in my mind. I've never written a novel though, I used to write more as a child but these days I seem too busy to write anything much.
I'd be interested in reading some of your work.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by Velvet.
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 7 months ago #2546

  • Faustine
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I'm a non-fiction writer, although I frequently write narratives and I've never felt held back by 'aphantasia'.

I don't write much fiction, though, and that probably has a lot to do with the fact that I've felt completely alienated by fiction writers talking about their personal process. Their well-intentioned camaraderie around stories that just have to get out on the page, characters that demand attention, etc., made me feel as if though I lacked the most basic criteria for writing. One of these days I'll get back to it, just to prove to myself that there was actually nothing wrong with me at all.

Fun with science: "In conclusion […] self-reported mental imagery is consistently but only weakly associated with performance on [creative] thinking tasks. […] The results of the present meta-analysis suggest that imaging capacity accounts for only 3% of the variance in [creative] thinking measures." (LeBoutillier, N., & Marks, D. F. (2003). Mental imagery and creativity: A meta-analytic review study. British Journal of Psychology, 94, 29) In other words, being better at visualising makes you better at creative thinking, but only just barely. Then, given how much more there is to the creative process than just creative thinking, "creativity" probably comes down more to individuality than whether or not we have images in our heads.
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 7 months ago #2565

  • Talanic
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I do as well. My specialties are science fiction and fantasy.

My writing tends to be very concise. I have descriptions, but far more sparse than what I'm used to reading. If I describe something, it's because I feel it's important in some way. Like describing the contents of an absent character's home, giving the reader - as well as the protagonist - an impression of the character before they actually actually meet him.

Despite my inability to visualize, I seem to have a good handle on action sequences. Or so I'm told.

Here's a looksee. It's the in-progress second draft of my second novel, a mythological urban fantasy.

And Faustine, I've encountered many writers, and many different processes. I'm a discovery writer - I tend to have a vague plan that gets set on fire shortly after I start the story. I also have had occasional new characters steal the scene and reveal to me that they really had a lot more to do with the plot than I'd realized. It's entirely different from my wife, who's a meticulous planner.
Last Edit: 1 year 7 months ago by Talanic. Reason: Posted too soon.
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 7 months ago #2569

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Talanic wrote:
And Faustine, I've encountered many writers, and many different processes.
I'm well aware, but writers describing where they are on the pantser/discovery – planner spectrum doesn't particularly affect the pervasiveness of the myth of creative inspiration, which is what I'm talking about.
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 6 months ago #2607

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I'm a writer, science fiction and non-fiction. Several published novels and short stories.

I often get praised for the 'visuals' in my books.

I wish I could see them...
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 6 months ago #2610

  • Velvet
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pspence wrote:
I'm a writer, science fiction and non-fiction. Several published novels and short stories.

I often get praised for the 'visuals' in my books.

I wish I could see them...
Would you mind sharing the names of novels/stories you've published? I'd be interested in looking them up. :)
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
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I write novels with Aphantasia 1 year 4 months ago #2878

  • maurav
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I'm also an author and am also an editor. I'm useless at drawing anything but geometric pieces but I think aphantasia may be a bonus in fiction writing because I know how to describe things to myself, so I don't forget to do so and I don't rely on other people's imaginations to fill in the blanks.
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