Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Maybe I've Already Gone Crazy

So Postvixen points out this LJ community, Soulbonding, saying that she likes it, but she's worried what would happen if the net.bastards got hold of it.

I'm reading, and reading, and reading through the intro (the community creator is a tad longwinded. ;) And my dominant thought as I'm looking at it is:

Doesn't everyone do this?

I've been an avid reader for almost as long as I can remember. (I can barely recall being very young and making up stories to go with the pictures in books I could not read. And refusing to learn to read from my sister. "I'll learn when they teach me in school!") The amount of leisure-reading I did dropped off dramatically in and after college, and has only recently begun to pick up again. But I still do a fair bit of reading.

One thing that I've always done when reading is interact with the book. I'll find myself doing this even with the most ordinary of non-fiction subjects. I read The Federalist Papers and imagine travelling back in time to talk to Alexander Hamiliton about how the country turned out. When I was little I imparted personalities to numbers. (3 was very selfish, as I recall, while 9 was my favorite.)

But my real flights of fancy are connected with fiction, particularly fantasy and science fiction. I can hardly read a book without inserting myself, or, more often, some additional imaginary characters into the narrative. Usually, my imaginary second narrative involves resolving the thorniest, or most persistent, problems in the story. Sometimes I'll employ powergaming tacitcs to solve difficulties, and sometimes I'll just provide my characters with additional insight, or a little special ability, to help them see things through.

When I was 12, I codified my cast of book-interfering characters, all with different and largely dramatically over-powered abilities. They were mostly about my age. There was my favorite, Diana, the Diamond Dragon. She was the only child of a race of shapeshifting diamond-skinned dragons who seldom reproduced. There was Liana, the daughter of Light, the fey, ethereal child of a diety. Crystal, a D&D-style sorceress with long black hair and pale skin (sound familiar, anyone?) with a mischevious bent and a wicked sense of humor. There were four others whose personalities were less well-defined, and who were employed less frequently. They dimension-travelled from one novel to the next, intervening and interacting their way through hundreds of stories.

I don't use them anymore, but I still conduct frequent imaginary interventions whenever I read anything.

It never occured to me that this might be unusual. I always thought that everyone did it. A few weeks ago, I mentioned this to Lut (who reads a lot more than I do), and he said, no, he never does.




(This may be one of the reasons I read relatively slowly. I need to take the time to build up long scenes in my head, then discard them so I can get back to the events in the actual book.)

Anyway, this isn't my only use of alternate voices-in-my-head, but it's perhaps the most frequent one. And now I'm wondering: who else does do this? I'm sure I can't be alone. So if you're reading this, please let me know if you ever stage interventions in the course of books you're reading, or films you're watching. Or if you don't.

Maybe Lut is the oddity. ;)
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