Ever since I was a child, I have thought in images and it cannot be any mere coincidence, my love and appreciation of all art form today.
Very early on in my life, I came to learn that the combination of words and pictures is the cornerstone of all language development and communication processes. As a writer of sixty-seven published books, I know that good writing is a bit like being a magician waving a magic wand; someone who can turn 'this' into 'that' and then make you turn it back again into its original form. This is essentially the process of any effective author and their readership.
All my stories start with an idea (mental image) which I then transform into words on a page, broken into paragraphs. Each paragraph matches one picture in my mind. The totality of these paragraphs represents a written story. Having turned my mental pictures into words on a page, my readers read my words, and in doing so, they turn my words back into images in their own mind. When the image that started off in my mind before I wrote the words to match is the same as the image that finished up in my reader's mind, then my purpose has been truly served and communication has occurred between author and reader.The magician's wand has been waved and has done its job.
When I was a probation officer at the start of the 1970s, because I chose to specialise in Behaviour Modification methods (popularly practised in the U.S.A. but frowned upon in England at the time),most of the research to keep abreast of up-to-date methods came from papers/books written in America and in the European countries of France, Switzerland and Austria.
In 1974, I read a paper on the merits of different teaching methods. That paper informed me that because the human brain learns by either word or picture and that one of the two is predominant in all learners and varies from person to person, the brain is best reinforced in its learning by the combination of both mediums. Hence; the most logically-minded person (left brain person) will learn easier by seeing 'words, numerals and diagrams' written on a blackboard by teacher, the other learning type of individual (the right-brain person) will retain the information better and process it in their mind easier if it is delivered in image form; ie, if you draw them a picture.Many teachers recognise this as the 'Show not tell' stratagem of the classroom.
All good teachers and educators, however, were advised by the paper to play safe and cover all eventualities of the different types of learners in their class. They were advised to develop new learning methods which used both pictures and words to reinforce the very same point being made with all the pupils in their lessons; knowing that in this way their lesson will be more effective, being more readily and naturally understood and therefore more likely to be retained in one's memory bank. This way, the educator was able to reach a larger target audience and ring the bell of instant understanding more often.
So if you are a teacher/parent/communicator out there who feels like 'throwing in the towel' as you struggle in vain to get your message across, remember to reinforce your words with imagery. In times past, it was not unknown to physically make the person see the harm their action had caused before punishing them for their misdeed. The more modern interpretation of this method would be those schemes used by some probation officers to bring offender and victim into discussion with each other, in the hope that the offender could hear and see first-hand, the harm to the victim their senseless crime did cause. Imagine a car driver who just will not give up texting whilst driving, even after their action has led to the death of an innocent other. How much more effective it would be to guarantee a change in their future behaviour were they to be forced to view the corpse in the morgue immediately after the victim's death, and then be obliged to attend the funeral of their victim with their bereaved family members!.
If you don't believe me in the efficacy and importance of our learning by matching the word with image, allow me to momentarily take you back to your own early childhood. For my next Magician's trick, I will tell you the very first book that you ever read. Now, let's see. The book was composed thus. On the first left-hand-side page would have been printed the letter 'A', and on the page immediately opposite would have been the colourful picture of an 'Apple' followed by the connection, 'A' IS FOR APPLE. Similarly, 'B' would be for 'Boy', 'C' for 'Cat' and so on!
This is the very method that you, your parents, and their parents learned to first read. It is also the very same principle that is used for all creative writing as an adult, and in particular all effective posters that advertise different products which the manufacturers want to firmly place in our memory bank, so they can be involuntarily recalled to conscience mind the very next occasion we come across the advertised product in the supermarket and automatically select their particular brand from the half dozen brands on offer. Images control how we want to be seen, and they lie at the very heart of our deepest fears and our deepest anger states, and also our most pleasurable memories. They influence all romantic approaches and govern all sexual responses. Indeed, there is no earthly activity that words and imagery do no influence, direct or govern; hence the importance of 'first impressions' when first meeting another person.
For example, if I wanted to communicate the message to my listeners 'that this upside-down world of ours is likely to finally kill you off if you lose your perspective on what really matters in life', while I was talking to you about this message I wanted to impart, I'd place this image in the background where it was easily visible to you. I'd do this to reinforce the likelihood of you accepting and retaining my message in your memory bank. It is not imperative that your conscious brain makes the connection, as your brain will still store it and memorise it to be reproduced as a point of learning at a relevant future time. William Forde: March 6th, 2018.