Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Writing Treasures

A few weeks ago, I drew a treasure map to help me write a story.

This exercise came from a writing book I am using with my daughters for home schooling, but it has been an interesting exercise for me as a writer.

Although artistically challenged, the map making process and the story that has come forth from that exercise, have both made me wonder if this is an exercise I should complete before most of my stories.

Even though I have lost my treasure map, I remember the details of it, and my character is following the map in the story, on the way to her treasure. As a plotting and brainstorming tool, it has been invaluable.

For home schooling, this writing project is probably the most intense, in-depth and exciting one we have ever done, and we are each doing our own and then sharing them with each other. For two weeks, we have worked on these stories, and we aren't finished yet. As a home school parent, it has been a great joy to see my daughters excited about a writing project.

For my writing life, this writing project has been an entertaining and educational distraction from my other projects. Despite the distraction, I feel like I've learned a great deal about my writing process and what works for me. I love having a visual aid, even if the drawings look like chicken scratches.

So, if you are stuck in a plot (like I have been many times), try making yourself a "treasure" map, with the "x" marking the final scene in your story or book. Maybe it will work for you too.

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