As I was reading the other day, I got to thinking about writers and their descriptions of characters. Some authors describe in great detail about what their characters look like, while others give the barest description they can get away with. Either way is fine by me, except that I will say that too much description can take the focus away from the story. Isn't there a writerly saying about "show, don't tell"....??
Anyway! My point is, as I was reading I realized that I was picturing the scenes in my mind. But I wasn't actually putting faces on the people I was reading about. It was more that I had a general picture of the hair color and body size and height and all that, but nothing in great detail. Kind of like I had the outline of the scene rather than all the colors and wrinkles and every single facial expression. In fact, I've noticed that I tend to make myself the main girl character when I'm imagining a scene. (Is that strange? Or do other people do that too?) Which led me to wondering what other readers' imaginations create.
I realize that it helps a lot if there's a cover model that fits the description well or if there's been a movie and I picture the actor or actress while reading. But that doesn't always guarantee that I will picture the cover model or actor while reading! Our imaginations are so very personal (obviously) and interesting. And I bet we all do differently. Or maybe not. But I'd sure like to find out!
So! What about you? When you're reading a story, do you instantly have a picture of the characters in your mind? If so, to what degree of detail do you imagine?
And please, won't you comment and answer? I'm so curious! (Pretty please? With sugar on top? :)