Hyperphantasia is the ability for an individual to create highly graphic images in his or her mind’s eye. In other words, some could call it the conjurings or machinations of an “overactive imagination”. Alexander Brennan, the main character in my middle grade novel, MOONSTRUCK, has an overactive imagination.
I didn’t know there was a “scientifically” precise term for this characteristic, until one of my students shared with me his inability to visualize or create mental images. This information struck me in a strange way. Thus, my curiosity drew me to research it.
How interesting that there are people who are “blind in the mind” (aphantasia) while readers (like myself) process words on a page into movies in our minds that sometimes the world we envision while reading is incredibly overwhelming that we must take a break from the roller coasting reading or devour the book in one sitting before not knowing what’s going to happen next becomes unbearable and consumes us.
Ironically, this student LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to read, write fiction, and draw pictures. The drawings are often incomplete, but they are decent and he so enjoys it. Hyperphantasia’s opposite is aphantasia.
I need to know if there are other writers and illustrators in the world that possess either hyperphantasia or aphantasia and what it’s like. I wonder if writers that struggle to create their own mental images when reading, write better prose because of the way their mind works. I wonder if something that could be considered a disadvantage is actually the opposite. For instance, my student that identifies as a person with aphantasia often scores perfect scores or high As on his reading assessments. I wonder why that is. It’s so perfectly peculiar! I love it! 😀
Anyway, thank you for stopping by, and feel free to comment and/or share if you think you are either hyperphantasic or aphantasic.
And if you fall somewhere in the middle, please comment and share! 🙂