They say a picture is worth a thousand words…
… Or is it?
To help you decide, here’s a fun, interesting imagination game that anybody can try out.
I have included three quotes from books which I’ve read. Take your time. Read the paragraphs slowly, open your mind, and let your imagination take over.
… And if you (the little rebel that you are 😉) already snuck a peek at the pictures, try and erase from memory that which you saw.
- “She had no idea where she was. Somewhere in the countryside, obviously, miles from civilisation . . . . The road surface seemed to be undulating beneath her, and the overhanging trees were assuming threatening shapes. She shook her head to try to make it all go away but that only made things worse. She felt dizzy and had to support herself against a tree trunk for a moment. The bark was pulsing under her fingers like the dry scaly skin of a reptile … But everything was still dark, and the trees and walls were silhouettes of scarecrows and demons closing in on her.” (from When The Music’s Over by Peter Robinson)
- “At that moment the moon slid from behind a cloud. The black row of teeth came into view. And the eyes. Jonas automatically sucked in his breath and recoiled two steps. The pebble-eyes were gleaming. And they were not staring into the house. They were looking up. Up here. Jonas drew the curtains and crept back into bed.” (from The Snowman by Jo Nesbø)
- “Gliding spiderlike, rapidly, close behind Sharon, her body arched backward in a bow with her head almost touching her feet, was Regan, her tongue flicking quickly in and out of her mouth while she hissed sibilantly like a serpent . . . . Sharon turned and saw nothing. And then screamed as she felt Regan’s tongue snaking out at her ankle.” (from The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty)
Now that you’ve read the quotes, take a look at the images below…
So what do you think, dear reader?
Were the pictures somewhat close to what you were imagining whilst reading the excerpts?
Or did you have something completely different in mind?
Either way, that is the power of words. The beauty of writing. The joy of reading.
Yes, sure, you know exactly what a scene is with the help of pictures, like when you watch a movie, for example. But with words, all the tiny details, and how you imagine the setting/atmosphere to be, are left up to you.
In fact, to close this post off, I’ll leave you with yet another excerpt from Blatty’s novel, The Exorcist. This time, however, without a picture to accompany it. See what you think…
“Chris retired to her room, settled wearily into bed, and almost instantly fell asleep. Then awakened to fearful, hysterical screaming at the rim of her consciousness. ‘Mother, come here, come here, I’m afraid!’ . . . . Regan lay taut on her back, face stained with tears and contorted with terror as she gripped at the sides of her narrow bed. ‘Mother, why is it shaking?’ she cried. ‘Make it stop! Oh, I’m scared! Make it stop! Mother, please make it stop!’ The mattress of the bed was quivering violently back and forth.”
– Preston Carbonaro