How sketching improves your writing.

Inspiration

Online drawing collaboration | JPF and Laura C

One of the great difficulties of storytelling is to thoroughly visualise a place – and the movement of people within that place. Storytellers I work with can become stuck In a frozen moment, and the story doesn’t go anywhere.

Paradoxically, drawing, which in its finished state is static, can help to create the movement. But it is not the finished drawing that matters, it is the process of drawing.

Laura C is working on a memoir, built around her father’s cookery books.

Working with Laura yesterday, we started with an empty floor plan of the house she is writing about. Sketching together online, not least because we are on different continents, we gradually embellished the floor plan.

Over 30 minutes, Laura remembered all kinds of things that had happened in her childhood home and I sketched while we talked (Laura sketched a little too). I also wrote down a few of the phrases she used.

I highly recommend that you do this exercise. It works much better if you draw with someone else, because a lot of the benefit comes from your conversation.

I’m sure you can find someone, but if you can’t – well, you know where I am.

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