Friday, March 6, 2015

I is for Imagination

Margaret has had 81 love affairs - in her imagination!

All writers have fantastic imagination. For the duration of whatever book we’re writing we live in the world we’ve created. I remember my husband once suggesting I left my writing to go for a walk and I told him not to be silly, it was raining. But it wasn’t, it was only raining in my book. I was so wrapped up in this world I’d invented that I truly thought it was raining.
I live each story as I write it. I become my heroine which means I’ve had eight one love affairs and at this moment am embarking on my eighty second. All with the permission of my husband!
I meticulously research settings but as far as characters go they are one hundred percent in my mind, not even remotely connected to anyone I know. Having said that someone once said to me that they recognised a relative of theirs in one of my books! The people I create, even my secondary characters, are definitely all figments of my imagination.
The very act of writing stimulates it and takes me to situations and places I’d never thought of before I set pen to paper. (Figuratively speaking) It never stops working either. Most writers say they have some of their best thoughts/ideas in the middle of the night. A pen and paper is essential beside the bed, otherwise the thoughts will fly off into the ether never to be found again.
Children have the best imagination. They create their own little world inside their heads - you only have to watch them playing games. Somehow this disappears as they get older – perhaps the stimulation isn’t there, other things take over. My creative juices didn’t reappear until I was in my thirties when I went to college to learn German. English was part of the course and it was at this time I had an idea for my first book. Although I didn’t pass my German exam, (nor did anyone else in the class and they sacked the teacher) it spurred me on to have a go at writing.



  1. 81 love affairs--that's a great way of describing how you relate to the characters you create, Margaret. I'm still in love with the characters I've created, even after I'm finished with their books.

  2. Your husband knows?
    Mine doesn't yet. Not sure how to break the news to him.

  3. Margaret, you are absolutely right that we fall in love with our heroes just as our heroines do. If we didn't, our readers wouldn't fall for them either.
    Like Jen, I'm still in love with all my heroes - even the ones I created 50 years ago!

    1. It's hard to let them go sometimes, isn't it? But at least we know there's always another one waiting to take his place.

  4. I do use some pieces of reality in my books: settings for sure, and once I used my friends and their families as one of my hero's brothers and sisters. But imagining things I'd never get to do or places I'd never get to visit is what makes writing so fun. I definitely live vicariously through my characters when I write.