Many of us in the writing profession take our imaginations for granted. I know I do. I’ve always had it and my thoughts are as much a part of me as the beat of my heart. Without imagination to dream up great scenarios, our stories would be as riveting as a plumber’s manual.
But what really is imagination? Where does it come from? Any thoughts?
Ambrose Bierce an editorialist/journalist and short story writer in the 1800s states, “Imagination, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.”
That certainly fits. Writers take a kernel of thought and fabricate a story around it with engaging characters and make us believe it definitely could happen.
David Hume, an 18th century Scottish philosopher, became enthralled with human mental activity. He concluded that impressions in our brains are copies of actual things we have seen, felt, heard or read about. According to him we have no original thoughts. For instance – a blind person may know the word blue but he cannot associate it with an image. Therefore, he has no thought of what the color looks like. Same with a deaf person in relation to sound. According to him our ideas are nothing more than copies of impressions.
What! I think that’s a bunch of malarkey. What about Jules Verne’s submarine in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea? Or his novel, Paris in the Twentieth Century where he describes subways, gas stations, a fax machine? What about any number of other authors who accurately portray things far before their time?
It makes me wonder about Divine inspiration. I think some ideas defy logic.
Hume did acknowledge that nothing is more free than the human imagination. “Our minds have the power to mix, compound, separate and divide all of our ideas into a variety of fiction and vision.” Now, there you go. I totally agree with that. We have untold avenues of creativity. I fear I’ve only tapped into a small portion of ideas that float around aimlessly in my gray matter, waiting for me to draft them into a story.
I don’t know about you, but all this thinking wears me out. I think I’ll relax and curl up with a generous portion of imagination in a good book.
On second thought, I think I’ll put some of those fat, juicy ideas to work. After all, they’re only soaking up gray matter.
I can lie with the best of them and make readers believe it can happen!
Do you have good imagination? What vivid worlds did you visit as a child? Ever have a make believe friend?
It’s only a short wait until FOREVER HIS TEXAS BRIDE (the third and final book of my Bachelors series) comes out on December 1st. If you haven’t read the first two of the series, you still have time. Start with book #1 TEXAS MAIL ORDER BRIDE. Click on the covers and they’ll take you to Amazon.
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