Writer’s post: the cinema of the mind

You know that moment in a dark cinema when the person next to you lifts their hand for a mouthful of popcorn and their watch catches in the light? It’s enough. That small distraction breaks your suspension of disbelief. Suddenly, the film seems utterly daft and implausible.

That is exactly how this week felt.

Before I write a scene, I play it out in my head like a film. The cinema of my mind is incomplete. I know some people can visualise every note of music, every syllable of dialogue, every nuance of expression. I wish! I visualise the tone and the action, maybe snippets of dialogue, but I can’t yet manage the whole scene. Sometime the same fragment of the scene will iterate over and over again.

My manuscript has historical elements and I want them to be accurate and believable. It’s usually when they are not that the scene repeats; the distractions of light and rustling popcorn invade.

Enter: Research. Followed by several days of replaying the same scene in my head and even more research before I sit down to write.

How complete is your cinema of the mind? What tricks do you use when the image freezes or stalls?



1 thought on “Writer’s post: the cinema of the mind”

  1. I can relate to this so much! I see my scenes play out in my head. The big ones come back over and over until I get them on the page. I’m very dialogue driven and hear the words more then the action at first. Then it all comes together and I get the whole picture.

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