Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Last night at the RWA chapter meeting the presentation was visualisation. And wow, what an amazing surprise it turned out to be! By the end I had enough notes to put together a comprehensive synopsis of a book I'm writing later this year.

I discovered I'm an auditory person, not necessarily visual. I always thought I pictured scenes, and I do, but I tend to hear things first. My husband would not be surprised. I hear my neighbours burp at 2 a.m. It's quite annoying. Some people are visual, some are auditory, and others "feel" we all closed our eyes, she led us through a visualisation and honestly, I kept opening my eyes to write. She'd given us a character worksheet and as she asked the questions I just kept writing.

I did make a connection that made perfect sense to me. I tend to be a strong dialogue writer, so it's not a huge surprise that I'm an auditory learner. I write the dialogue first and fill in, whereas a visual or feelings person might write the narrative and expand the dialogue.

I wasn't the only one who ended up with scads of notes, either.

I always do character sheets but being led by actual detailed questions was such a help that we're pressing the presenter to put it all on tape!


  1. Anonymous12:25 p.m.

    Carolc said...

    Loved your ending post btw. Sounds like a fascinating evening and glad you learned so much, I'd love the opportunity to do something like that with writing.

    I used to be in advertising sales and was taught how to spot these cues in people and how to respond to them.

    For instance with an auditory person such as yourself people might say 'If you can hear me this is exactly what product x can do for you...'. Where as with visual people it's more like, 'Now if you can just picture yourself with product x and how great your life will be.' Very simplified version of it, but it's very powerful stuff.

  2. When I was in university, I used to do Shakespeare by going to the listening library. And I don't remember lines from books or poetry, but I can remember lines from movies and tv shows.

    When we did the first exercise (non-writing) I said I sensed sounds and then colour. Cool, huh? One of the questions was, imagine there's a present for you on the counter? What is it? For me it was a bottle of red wine...but it was the colour...the green bottle with the nearly black liquid inside, that was the dominating sense.

  3. I am definitely an aural not visual writer - I was JUST thinking about this last night when I was looking at someones new 'hero' pic on their blog. TBH I don't actually use pictures at all for characters - I hear and feel them but I really have to work hard to come up with physical description of them! Interesting isn't it? I think my books are dialogue heavy too - and I prefer to read that way too - but I know some people who love acres of descritive stuff... visuals.

  4. I think I'm a feelings person. Definitely not visual. Remember my college physics professor telling me to just see the object in motion and I would understand how to solve the problem. Didn't work.

    Not auditory, although I'd put this second, because I do tend to hear things that others don't. Okay, that didn't come out right.

    I'm always thinking about how I feel, how others feel, how characters feel. Narrative comes easy. I have to work on dialogue as one way to show rather than tell.

    Sounds like an interesting workshop.

  5. It was! Very interesting!

    This sort of ties in with my post on knowing your strengths and weaknesses too. If you clue into how you think and process information, you can definitely use it to your advantage!