Visualization of books

How do you guys visualize choice and host games?
Do you see them as anime, realistically, etc?
I view most as anime and change the style depending on the mood like during happy or goofing off scenes I it’s in the style of k-on or lucky star. If it’s a action scene where all seems lost or just an overall dark game I imagine it in berserk style
I allmost never visualize anything as realistic because it’s fantasy and realistic would just ruin it. Also suspension of disbelief would be horribly hard


I have this thing where I can’t actually picture anything in my head (aside from like daydream occasionally and daydreams) but I use my imagination to imagine what it could look like.

I could probably draw something based on a scene, but in reality it would be me making it up-- I can’t actually visualise it (I also can’t remember/ have visual memories, but tbh everything I’ve written here could apply to everyone and ‘picture it in your head’ is just a metaphor

I just realised you guys probably get way more fun out of these games than I do.

And when people mean “I hate it when artwork for a character is different to what I pictured in my head” they literally saw something in their head to portray the character. That’s pretty freaky,


I visualize just about everything that I read. How? Depends, but usually realistically.


The way I visualise the inanimate aspects of a story (e.g. a tree) are usually more or less realistic.

When it comes to characters, I have realised that I actually do not have a clear picture in my mind of what they look like, but at the same time also know what they look like in a way I find hard to describe. It’s somewhat akin to how you might be able to recognise someone on sight but be unable to create an accurate picture of their face in your mind. Assuming that that’s not just something I experience.

I do get that sensation that @fairlyfairfighter mentioned of art of a character not looking like how I imagined them to be, but I wouldn’t be able to say how it was not like my imagination, except in perhaps the broadest of terms.


Oh hey we may have the same thing!

I can see in detail in dreams tho (and i’m good at dreamin!) But when looking back at a memory or picturing an object there’'s no detail, just “Yes a circle has a circle shape, but I just see blackness”.

In addition, aside from them looking humanoid and I know what that looks like, I can’t really picture characters, so I have no problem with making official art.

On the other hand, I do prefer the character I imagine. I mean its probably ironic/ weird but just because I can’t see em doesn’t mean I have a rough idea of what they look like.

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Anime 100% (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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Depends, but usually in a semi-realistic comic style.
Also I love picking reference picks for faces.


I find it harder to visualize characters in typical CoG/HG’s compared to books. If I get the choice of name/hair color/family/strengths and weaknesses, I create an image of a character in my head. However, when I start to get into the games, the prose is written from the perspective of a different character. Then, I need to readjust who I thought I was playing, so that the character fits in the story.


That’s actually a really good point. No matter how many customisation options you have, the author will always write with a certain “default” in mind. It’s not really possible to both write so neutrally that you can inject your own character perfectly into what happens and at the same time also inject fun and personality into the story as a whole.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot RE: my own WIP. I’ve noticed that the main character actually does have a personality independent of who’s playing him or her, though it can be subtle at times. It’s difficult to recognise that in your own writing. I’ve been experimenting with bringing that out more in small ways without sacrificing player agency. It’s hard!


I visualise most books as being anime-styled, unless it’s set in Victorian times then it’s gritty Western-styled noir.

Realistically, but sort of…cinematic? Like it just has that “sheen” movies have, if that makes any sense at all.

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30 frames per second?

Realistic or sometimes in a 3D sort of format. It depends on the detail. If a book is too detailed its harder to imagine things. The more a story draws me in the easier it is to imagine it. I have a sort of on and off type of imagination. Sometimes i just lose the connection to a story and so need to restore my chi/focus.


I got a question, when a well-know book is turned into a movie later on, how much is the visualisation of the book is affected by how the movie portrays the character?

And I do know that some people with little imagination say that they cannot read a book due to their trouble visualising/imagining the text’s context…

For example, in the original Harry Potter books Harry is described as having scruffy hair and green eyes, so most readers had imagined him like that- fast forward to the movie version where the actor didn’t have green eyes and… Then those who watched the movies before reading the books said the MC didn’t match the movie’s version.

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It depends. Sometimes i imagine the characters realistically, sometimes as anime characters. It depends a lot on the genre. For a game like Tin Star? I imagine normal humans.

However, unless I base a character on a person, I don’t have a really concrete image of them. As in, I can imagine the scenes as I read them, but if I were to draw them I wouldn’t be able to capture even 50% of them.

There’s nothing wrong with your character having a personality. Your character existed before you took control of them, and they will continue to exist, in their universe, after the story you are playing concludes.

Think of Shepard/Ryder in ME. Hawke/Inquisitor in DA. These games are widely considered to be some of the best, but the characters do have their own personalities and own inflections and views of their universe.

Sure, you can decide to be sarcastic/sincere/brusque, but the character still responds in their own way, with their own words. The player has agency, but so does the character.

That said! I do not visualize scenery when I read. I do, when I play D&D or when I write, but only vaguely. Sort of like old cartoons - there are shapes in the mist, but nothing is solid except for the characters. For me, characters are the most important part of the story, and, in all honesty, unless the 40 lines of description are about a character, I skip over them.

Small clues about locales are important - are we on a boat at sea? Are we in a building? Is it raining? But I don’t need to know nor care about exactly where the table in the room is, in relation to the 37 bookshelves and 12 windows…because I don’t visualize it anyway.

Basically, my view is: only mention scenery if it is necessary to move the plot forward or hint at something later in the plot (EG: Nancy Drew noticed, out of the corner of her eye, that one of the books on the bookshelf was oddly colored, but she chose to ignore it. For the moment, it was more important to listen to what Nick had to say.).

This is my personal opinion, of course, based solely on the fact that I genuinely don’t picture things in my mind like that, and lengthy scenery descriptions just end up boring me :woman_shrugging:

(my phone lost the last half of my comment, ugh) As for characters, I envision them as concepts. The more detail is provided about them, the clearer a picture I have. Even for characters in my own writing, I basically envision a blob with features. If they have a certain type of smile, that smile is added. Hairstyle? Same thing.

Almost never do I actually envision a character fully. Just the concept and their essence. I think this may be due to the fact that I am literally incapable of drawing anything.

I’d be curious to know if other people, who struggle to envision characters and scenery, are also bad at art.