Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Joan Miro, Spanish painter, once said "painting or poetry is made as one makes love--a total embrace, prudence thrown to the winds, nothing held back" (from Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel, p66). I think this would not be limited to painting and poetry, though. Why not all art, all writing? Only when you can embody the subject, put yourself in the work, in the moment, be present as some would say, can you see through the lens, eyes, of the subject and no longer be an observer but a participant. And, the view is something quite different. Sometimes, I close my eyes (and sometimes I turn out the lights and actually sit in the dark) and try to put myself into the shoes (or seat) of the character, try to see what they would be seeing, hear what they would be hearing, feel throughout my body what they would be feeling. Find the entry point, follow the maze, bump into a few walls, but keep looking for the prize, the exit door. Some call it the journey, others the search. Some say just "be present".
I have to admit that I've never considered that I have much of an imagination, so this exercise can take some time and effort, but I love the result. I hope this comes through in my writing, gives the character and action a third dimension.