Reading and visualizing

Last night, I put some heavy time into reading A Gentleman’s Game by Greg Rucka, as I was nearing the end and wanted to finish it before a little something called Mass Effect 3 arrived.  The good news: I finished the book this morning.

I’d write about the book itself, but there’s something else in the works for my thoughts there.  Don’t worry, it will be great.

What I’m wanting to talk about today is how authors (and in particular, one scene in A Gentleman’s Game) never cease to amaze me in their ability to write in a way that posts the scene directly into my head, as if I were watching it in front of me.

The scene that got me thinking about this topic is a bathroom fight scene, between the antagonist, Tara Chase, and an unnamed assailant.  The way that Rucka brings the fight to life made seeing the combatants engaged in an intense close-quarters battle was amazing.  Blow-by-blow, I could visualize this combat in my mind’s eye.  The fight lasted several pages, but what really hammered home the frantic nature of the scene was the fact that Tara checks her watch and notes that the whole fight lasted less than a minute.  Giving that sense of timing (which can be lost when a scene lasts over several pages) hammered home the whole scene.

The scene was vivid, and it always amazes me with how the words on the page are transformed in my head to something so breathtaking.  And this is exactly why I’ll never stop reading.

(For those wondering, I saw this scene was more brutal than the Daniel Craig Casino Royale bathroom fight)