I just read the most eye-opening essay (no pun intended) by Stephen King, called ‘Imagery and the Third Eye’.
I like to think of imagery as one of my better qualities as a writer. Plot is definitely the worst. So when I saw this essay about all about images and how to handle them in a story, I jumped on it like a fox to a rabbit: there was hunger in my eyes and something amazing within in my grasp.
My first thought was ‘this is a long article’ – it’s really not. I’m just lazy. I even ended up jotting down notes, that’s how inspiring and educational it was. Stephen King, you literary master, you’re the coolest 65 year old in the business. Without a doubt.
You can read the whole essay here – I seriously recommend it. If you’re late for work or the cat is meowing at you, here are some of the important points I took down in my notebook:
- “Novels are more than imagery… but it is the imagery that makes the book ‘stand out’ somehow; to come alive; to glow with its own light.”
- “Imagery does not occur on the writer’s page; it occurs in the reader’s mind.”
- “The reader has his or her own third eye; the job of the writer is only to provide a spectacle for it.”
- “Leave in the details that impress you most strongly; leave in the details you see the most clearly; leave everything else out.”
- “The idea of imagery is not to set the picture by giving everything… but to give enough to suggest a texture and a feel.”
- “Do not insult your reader’s interior vision, and see everything before you write it.”
- “The writer’s greatest pleasure is in seeing, and seeing well.”
There are also a bunch of other essays and thoughts from more writers here. Worth a look, if not a few pages of note-taking.