Someone once told me a writer should act like a key which opens the door to another world.
While I rather like the analogy it’s my understanding that a writer needs to do more than simply provide a key. Having means to unlock a door simply isn’t enough; you need something to tempt the reader inside. A photograph is a flat rendering of a captured scene but we trust its reality. However, engaging with a story isn’t simply a matter of ‘beam me up Scottie’ and you arrive in another time and place, stories require you to step inside the world of imagination.
Scary thing imagination.
Writing is an infinitesimal spell created out of words and wonder, therefore entering a story requires a certain leap of faith. No matter how well written, or finely observed, nothing in a book will live if the imagination doesn’t commit wholeheartedly to its magic.
Therefore, I believe, the business of writing stories is tantamount to being a magician who conjures with imaginings – an imagineer.
Without imagination not merely stories die, imagining provides a ratchet to our soul.
It isn’t so much dancing in the rain as feeling the water on your face and not getting wet. Isn’t that truly magic?