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December 13, 2010


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Interesting insight! And too right. All to often it is impossible to recreate the visions. I think it's easier to recreate the particulars, but it's not so easy to recreate the reaction. Like a dream, you can feel it intensely but try to recreate the situation and bring about that same emotional reaction? Harder than hell...

So, get as close as you can and call it done.


Wonderful post! You've described my "perfect vision not matching what's on the page" problem. It's something I often get discouraged about, but haven't quite figured out how to conquer. One thing I've thought of lately is that it's impossible to go straight from vision to page because we're not talking the same "language" as our vision. There are a couple more steps at least, and if the vision hasn't turned out as we expected, it's only because the process isn't finished yet.

It's like DNA transcription and translation, but I'll stop before attempting that analogy! LOL What can I say...I have a biology final tomorrow!


I guess that's why you're the *writer* and I am the reader. You may not believe your output matches what you saw in your mind's eye but when I read what you have written I am THERE, in the moment, with the smells and the sounds and the sunlight shining on the hardwood floor………. This might be one of things that writers just HAVE, like a musician's ability to imagine notes in chords or a painter's ability to know where the shadows will wane. And like any talented artists, writers always question themselves while the rest of us congenitally deprived people read your work and fall OVER at its magic!

Donna Cummings

Maureen, I think you're absolutely right: do the best you can and call it done. If we can evoke the emotions and sensations, that is the important part. Because readers will also bring their own vision to add to the experience.

Donna Cummings

Melissa, I think the only way to "conquer" what we see as a disconnect between our vision and reality is to acknowledge its not going to be the same. That way we can concentrate on making the story the best it can be.

I completely agree with you that there are different languages involved, so something definitely gets lost in the translation--so it's always going to seem less than "perfect". But that doesn't mean it should be devalued. :)

And let me get some more coffee before you start explaining the biology stuff. Whew! My head is already spinning!

Donna Cummings

Bren, I'm glad you feel that way about the things I've written. If I can convince you it is magic, then I have accomplished my job. :)

I do think writers see the world differently, and we have a NEED to describe what we see, and we grind our teeth when we discover how tricky it can be to do it exactly the way we want!

But then sometimes we even surprise ourselves with how the words evoke something, which is what keeps us going. :)

Terri Osburn

This is one of the best lessons I learned in the last couple months. I struggle constantly because I don't have the vocabulary or creativity to put down in words exactly what I see in my head. I'm sure it's often a case of me making it much more complicated that it needs to be.

I'm positive there are books I've loved about which their authors were unhappy because it just wasn't exactly what they intended. But I'd never know and I love it no less for what they think is missing.


Ironically, if we write it to our satisfaction, certain we have truly communicated the perfection of our vision...there is going to a reader who loves it, and as they rapsodize on how wonderful it was... We'll realize they 'saw' something totally different than what we saw.

You really do have to let it go. Part of me is looking forward to this and another part is just dreading it. Must work on the 'how wonderful!' face, no matter what I hear! ;-)

Donna Cummings

Terri, I do believe we can complicate things, but in this case it's already complicated on its own. LOL I agree that the books we love would probably have something the authors would like to "tweak" if they had a chance. :) But you're right--we love it, so we don't need to know what is missing.

Donna Cummings

Maureen, you're right--as readers we are always going to bring different perspectives to an author's book, which is why some of us love something and others can't figure out WHY it's such a beloved book. LOL

Can't wait to see your "how wonderful" face. :)

Terri Osburn

That reminds me, Maureen sent me a blurb for her new short story and it had all this stuff about other planets and planet hopping. There were these aliens who run things and my first reaction was "I don't read outer space stuff." To which she said, "There isn't much intergalactic stuff in there."

Funny, that's almost all I got from the blurb. LOL! Totally different take on the same thing.

Donna Cummings

Terri, that really made me laugh. Now I can't wait to hear what you think the story is about once you read it. LOL


Yeah, I got to rewrite that blurb! ;-)

She did tend to fixate on the word 'aliens'...


wow, great post and very appropriate for me at this time. im between my book on sub and being sure how much it sucks and also how much my current WIP sucks. And yes, it's because I am expecting to much of them, I think. everything i read seems amazing and where I'll never be. sigh. do we ever give ourselves a break? i think not.:)

Donna Cummings

Jenn, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's hard not to think we're missing the mark when our expectations are so "out there". :) And you're right, we never give ourselves a break, which probably reinforces our belief that we'll never achieve what we're aiming for. Sigh. LOL We need to be nicer to ourselves!

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