Imagination, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is
- the ability to imagine things that are not real: the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced
- the ability to think of new things
- something that only exists or happens in your mind
The incongruity of this is that writing a novel is all about making your story believable as if it actually happened. One imagines the unreal to create the real. As I work slowly towards trying to do that, I’m reminded constantly of the irony of this process and how difficult it is to create the real.
Even for those authors who write novels based on actual events, the process of making those events believable and choosing the details that will both move a story along and “sell” that story to the reader (not in the commercial, but in the creative sense) is both arduous and challenging.
Yet, many of us are compelled to try to achieve this and spend inordinate amounts of time in the attempt.