I heard an author talking on the radio, justifying why they’d visited a foreign city to research a location for their latest book.
“I had to go. After all, I wouldn’t trust an artist who’d painted a picture of something they’d never seen.”
OK, I did, sort of, understand what they meant. The research they did by making their journey will no doubt serve them well in adding the required authenticity they were seeking. And indeed, I know of another author who’s done something similar for her own imminent bestseller, and knowing her as I do, I am utterly confident that her book, characters, descriptions, scenes and language will be entirely enhanced by the effort she’s put in to get her facts and history right.
But … back to my radio author. Painting a picture of something you’ve never seen?
Isn’t that what we might call imagination, or creativity?
Isn’t there something marvellous about making something out of nothing, in conjuring up something wondrous from a seed of a thought or idea?