Are you imaginative?
I get ideas from what I read in the news. Here’s a perfect example. I logged on this morning to catch the headlines at cnn.com and saw this one, “How ‘GOT’ will end,” and immediately clicked through. GOT is Game of Thrones, and I’m addicted to it. This Sunday is the Season 3 finale, but it was last Sunday’s show that stopped my heart. The Red Wedding. Bloody. Unexpected. Heartbreaking.
So there was George R.R. Martin, author of the books on which the series is based, talking about the fact that yes, he knows how the books will finally end. He’s now working his way through writing the sixth book, which is 1500 pages, just like the fifth book, and he still has a seventh book to write before actually reading that end.
How do you do it? Conan O’Brien asked.
Imagination, he said. He went on to describe growing up in a working class family in Bayonne, New Jersey, and wondering what the rest of the world, which he could not afford to see, was like.
Imagination is my answer, too, when I’m asked how I come up with my plots, only the origin of my imagination is different from Mr. Martin’s. Mine came from a lonely childhood. My mother died when I was 8, and I dreamed she hadn’t. I imagined scenarios whereby she would come back, and they were a comfort. Oh I did it more – not, mind you, to the point of psychotic delusion, but enough to add a little pleasure in hoping.
From the day I hit college, my life was much, much happier, but for those 10 years before, I honed the craft of imagining.
So George Martin used imagination to escape a narrow world. I used it to escape a sad world. But these two examples beg the larger question of what makes a person imaginative? Is the talent inborn? Or does life make us that way.
What’s your take on this? Are you an imaginative person? If so, why? Or do you know someone whose imagination comes from an interesting source? I’d love to hear!