Prompting Articles : Using the Subconscious to Paint Fiction
Using the Subconscious to Paint Fiction
By Esmerelda Jones
Famous authors often reserved their 'other self' for the privacy of their writing room. Such needed indulgence brought forth cherished times of private thoughts. You too should be delighting yourself in unrestricted views.
Close off the world and develop an intimate acquaintance with a character you have created and thus set free from the vapours of imagination (subconscious). When your thoughts quiver with expectation a power is released... the drawing forth of the image. I refer to this as energizing Frankenstein; turning your most vivid desires into a physical representation of your character.
Construct a cloth doll (or draw a likeness for a cardboard cutout). Catch their physical appearance. Who are they? Do they reveal any oddities? Are they employed or do they recline in leisure? Sketch in clothing. Remind yourself of hair, temperament and motives. Is this a translation of your inner passion? Converse openly with your character... ask questions, coaxing out the perfect portrayal of your dream. Sunbathe in the magic of being a designer. Now you will begin to discover... they will do anything you want them to... reporting, spying and filing information.
Gaze further into your mind. Do you know exactly where and how they live? Is there a map? Can you experience the weather, observe local animals and gather flowers? What minor characters are you bumping into? Do you feel like a tourist or can you invisibly investigate?
So you have become a creator. Before you is the doll, the representation of all your hopeful thoughts but wait, it is naked and without status. You much now engage yourself as a costume designer. Back to those notes.
Flaunt your wand, feeling the confidence in your story. Study the picture above of a vintage book cover. In you mind fondle the lady's red glass beads. Outline her luscious lips with your finger. Paint her eyes porcelain blue. She's starting to breathe. She adores her ermine fur. Flick the feathers in her flamboyant hat (did you notice the jet hatpins?) Add more strands of gold to her ginger hair. A dab more of vermillion rouge. Pencil in a chic beauty spot. Pad out that bosom. Add an elegant dab of flirtatious perfume. In a diffusion of stars her dressing table manifests. You reach straightaway for the swans-down powder puff. A lovely pale blue ribbon bow sits atop. No doubt by now she is conversing with you and insisting on you letting her fine musical voice be known.
With jubilation you will now bestow the name for your character, after which you will be able to write about her without hesitation. You have achieved something wonderful and anchoring... an intimate knowledge of your character. Her words now ripple onto the paper. She sits nonchalantly on your dictionary, crossing her silk-stockinged legs. She fusses over morning tea and doodles on rainy afternoons (referring to it as artistic improvements).
The impossible dimension is reached, rupturing the membrane between fact and fiction. The story is yours to tell. Treasure your signature; it is the arrow of wisdom. •
© 2007 Esmerelda Jones. All rights reserved.
Esmerelda Jones... Author of old curiosities and Victoriana. From poverty to prosperity (how did they do it?).