(The results of an experiment, described in the first part of this series about the writerly reader. A condensed version of this study appears in my book Narrative Madness, which you can acquire at narrativemadness.com or on Amazon. I have sometimes altered spelling, punctuation and capitalization in the responses to make them more accessible.)
When we read a story others have read, we assume everyone has had a similar experience. However, the range of responses in this experiment demonstrates how differently readers envision a narrative. The amount and specificity of detail shows how thoroughly readers inhabit a scene, even one that is brief. As you read the rich responses below, feel free to reimagine these reanimations of my story. After all, it is your birthday!