Perhaps one of my favourite quotes from Harry Potter is the one said by Albus Dumbledore in the last book. (Yes, I am obstinately not counting The Cursed Child as a part of the original series though most people claim it is so). But I digress. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the dream (death) version of Albus Dumbledore would say one typical thing to Harry:
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Though the ambiguity of this statement might have come for debate in the context of the story, it holds good in many other ways, especially people who have very visual imaginations. On recent talks with a friend, I was talking about the power of imagination forming a huge part in the process of writing, often serving as the tipping factor in maybe writing a piece that is out of the ordinary.
While imagination is considered an important criteria for almost everything, it is an almost essential quality a successful writer should have. Ordinary things become extraordinary, realistic characters become larger than life, and a ‘better twist’ is obtained on a real life event. Born to a fan of Doyle’s Holmes, I never did underestimate the power of a fertile imagination, even for wondering on the series of events that would have led to a particular conclusion.
Somewhere along the line, the power of imagination of a child leaves way to its more pragmatic cousin, common sense, which disregards flights of fancy as a waste of time, often nipping the improbable imaginations in the bud. But for most of us, imagination is quickly reclaimed by tried and tested ways which include reading, watching movies, and spending extended periods of time with children or older story tellers (all of which I am lucky enough to do on a constant basis).
Imagination makes a writer, and discipline makes an author – a combination of these making the work a success. Everything is much more exciting inside the head, and there is nothing better than sharing that with others, especially when there is a child inside every adult, wanting to imagine a virtual Pokémon in a real place. (As a completely unrelated aside, I really cannot wait for the Harry Potter Version of that game. Yes, Certified Adult indeed).
What is one man’s imagination, might soon become another man’s reality. And in that sense, maybe a writer’s world is about bridging that fine line between both. If it were not for imagination, phones would still have cords, and maybe science fiction would not have been loved as much as it is now!
If that is not motivation for writing, I don’t know what else is!