Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Friends by Katherine Pym


London Bridge. My companions told me all about it so that I visualized it well.

When I write, my mind sails away to another time and place. Tagging along with me are my companions, ghosts from the past, ghosts in the present who seemed to have lived during the era in which I write. They advise me, tell me what is historically correct, or cry: “No, no. Listen to me.” I trust them and type their visuals into the computer. 

King Charles  II Spy Master. Did I work with him?

Then, with a small tune of regret to my companions, I go to the historical texts to make certain what they said is truly correct. Imagination can be a very strong tool. I make an effort to delineate between it and the whispered word. Like automatic writing, do I jot down images from my imagination or had I lived during that time and remembered as I write the passage? 

More often than not, the detail I entered into the manuscript is correct, yet I don’t tell many of this. Instead, a bibliographical list is added at the end of the story. This is much more believable than “I remember when…” 

As a result, readers exclaim they feel they are there, walking the lanes when reading my stories. They smell the not so nice odors. Their eyes sting from the coal smoke and they trip over an uneven paving stone, the heels of their hands embed with pebbles as they fall in the dirt. 

Stories transport one to another plane. More realistic to the time, the better the visuals. That’s my goal as I write novels of the 17th century, or phantasmatical stories of other planets, or spiritual adventures that take you to the unreal. 

I became woozy riding in this.

This is what writing is all about, to transport one to another world, another time. My ghosties do this with me. 

Many thanks to Wikicommons, Public Domain for historical pictures. 


  1. Wonderful pictures and post, interesting twist on writing companions.

  2. I can relate to your writing experience. When I write I feel as though I'm taking dictation. It's like a movie is playing in my head and I just write what I see and hear. Often my characters surprise me. I had no idea they were going to do or say something or that this new, previously unknown, character was going to suddenly show up. I love when it happens, though.

    I recently read your book, The Barbers and loved it. I could visualize everything so clearly. It felt as though I was there.