Thursday, May 17, 2007

Your questions answered

BLUE ASKS: Where does the imagination reside and what is the best method for access and being able to communicate said imaginations in such a way that the story told is not crap?

Emily says: (1) The imagination resides on the moors. (2) The best method for access is to go for a walk on the moors. (3) Why do you want to communicate?

Charlotte says: The imagination resides in what will come to be called the subconscious, and if Freud ever claimed he hadn't read my novel Villette then you may be sure he was lying.

The best method for access is to be, at the age of 33, the last sibling standing out of six, which induces not only a well-founded conviction that one's days are numbered and one had better get cracking, but also a particularly intense frame of mind from which much may be dredged.

(Imagine: pregnant and dead at 38, I was by comparison with my four sisters and my poor brother Branwell a triumph of Darwinian survival -- though that concept, like that of the subconscious, was not explored until after my demise.)

Drugs are good, too, though I fear Laudanum is not so easily procurable as it once was.

PC adds: I am working on a theory about imagination, access to imagination, and communication of what you find there, but that is for a later time. I do however think that the first two parts of your question (on the one hand) and the third part (on the other) belong at opposite ends of what I'm coming to think of as a spectrum of issues in creative or imaginative writing.

The third part of your question is about technique, as you imply. Up to a point, that can be learned. There are plenty of books, courses and online stuff that will all help. But the main thing here is to read as much as you can of the kind of thing you want to write and observe how other people do it.

As for parts 1 and 2: I would argue that the imagination is a process rather than a resident, and that the best method for setting it in train is to induce a kind of waking dream that's the perfectly normal physiological state one gets into when half-asleep, meditating, hypnotised, or concentrating ferociously on something. I think most writers will tell you that there are some things in their work that they don't really remember writing, and when they've looked at it afterwards in a normal state they've been a bit scared, and have said to themselves 'J*sus, Mary and Joseph, where did that come from?'

These things are, in my experience, inevitably one's best bits of writing.

LOLCATS ASK: Does these ticklings be novvell insides ov we, or do thay are furballs?

There have be wun way only to with finding out: cough them puppiez up.

(EEWWW ... I is says 'puppiez' hur hur.)


  1. Hello,

    Could I ask you for your assistance with grammar?

    Should it be: She walked away. To never return, I wonder?

    Or, should it be: She walked away. To never return? I wonder.

    Thank you!

  2. Dear sisters.
    I have long been an admirer of you and your works, and I would love to find out more about you. Like you, I am new to this strange world of blogging, and I was startled this week to receive a meme, requesting 8 random facts about myself, and requiring that I request this of 8 more people! Who could possibly be more interesting than you? The full rules are on my Little Book Room blog. If you would humour this request I would be grateful, but I understand if you have more pressing concerns.
    I remain humbly yours,

  3. Judging by the quality of some books these days, they have indeed been confused with furballs ;)

  4. I have been meditating on imagination, and I look forward to hearing your theories, as I am currently experimenting on a small child.