Over the last couple of days I have been ‘decorating’ (some might say graffiti-ing) the wall above my desk. It’s a blank wall upon which hubby has been threatening to hang
paintings. I’ve beaten him to the punch though, and created my own space above my new little desk. This is a huge relief because finally I’ve gotten all the stuff in my head OUT of my head. Now I trust that I will not, cannot forget it, because it’s all right here, in front of me.
Until now, I’ve always kept a notebook of plot, character, dialogue etc etc but this version of planning and mind mapping is actually rather exhilarating! I don’t feel the need to write on lines, stay within a space or order my thoughts. My neighbour was mortified when I told her I’d drawn on the wall. “Why?” she wanted to know. “Why didn’t you hang butchers paper or something?” Honestly, there’s no good reason and I have no excuse, except…well…have you drawn on a wall lately? It’s so much fun!
Suddenly I understand the attraction for kids. Yes, I’m pretty sure that as a child, I got more than one smack for drawing on walls but gee, it’s my wall and if I want to draw on it, I will. Besides, they’re water based pens, they’ll wash off when I’m ready.
So this is how I plan. Cutouts, images, maps, quotes, translations, arrows and research. Characters are filled in and decisions are made. Believe it or not, there’s an entire book almost completely plotted out on that wall and staring at it is how I resolve any issues I may encounter when I write.
Obviously some people are more orderly than I. I watched a woman on television the other day, who has a folder for each chapter and everything she writes down or cuts out, goes into the appropriate folder. My chapters aren’t apparent until I’m writing, so that won’t work for me. I’ve met another author who uses
Scrivener and all her stimulus pieces are computer-based. I don’t think as clearly when staring at a screen as when I’m staring blankly into space…or at a wall. When I’m at my computer, I’m being purposeful not dreamy or imaginative.
As such, I highly recommend drawing on walls. It’s great fun, feels fabulous and is very helpful when it comes to jogging memory or stimulating ideas.