Here are snippets from the piece and observations to accompany them:
- "… the most important thing that film and fiction share is an interest in the image…" — without image there is no story, at least none that's memorable
- "…story springs from image: that vividness of place and time and texture…" — without imagery, there is no texture
- The difference between ideas and images? "Ideas have no emotional temperature gradient; they are neutral."
- "Imagery is not achieved by over-description …" In fact, less usually is more.
- "Imagery does not occur on the writer's page; it occurs in the reader's mind."
- "Good description produces imagery …"
- As to the oft-asked question what to leave in? "Leave in the details that impress you the most … the details you see the most clearly; leave out everything else."
- How does this "imagining" occur: "… we must see with a kind of third eye—the eye of the imagination and memory."
- Why do this? "… to write is to re-experience, and as you write, that image will grow brighter and brighter, becoming something that is very nearly beautiful in its clarity."
- Why is this crucial to good writing? "…image leads to story, and story leads to everything else."
- It also benefits you, the writer: "… remember that a writer's greatest pleasure is in seeing, and seeing well."
To hone this skill, slow down. And imagine. Make King's writing prompt your own:
Close your eyes and see. Imagine the scene you want to convey. Per King, "You opened your eyes too soon." Close them and try again—give yourself 30 seconds, maybe even a minute. OK. Go ahead."
I recommend The Writer magazine and the article; I certainly recommend the technique.