Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Insecure Writers Want to Know: What Are Five Objects You'd Find in My Writing Space?


            So let’s see…five objects in my writing space. I guess the five children don’t count. Unfortunately, they’re always in my space. But that’s a different story. What would be considered useful in my writing space that could help you in yours? I like my posts to be helpful to my fellow writers. 
http://victoriamarielees.blogspot.com


            I like quiet when I write. I know! That’s funny coming from a mother of five. Maybe that’s why I like the quiet. I don’t get enough of it in my house. But the only one I want talking in my writing space is me. And yes! I do talk to myself. Or maybe I’m really talking to my characters. Many times, I’m looking for the sense of the plot, the why of an action or decision for my characters. I’m a concrete and logical person. I need real reasons for things to happen in story. I think many readers come to story to find a logical world. Because of this, the next thing happens. Many times in real life, we can’t find—or understand—the reasons for actions and decisions. This doesn’t mean that your story logic should be simplistic. On the contrary, the deeper the story, the more likely the reader will stay with the character to the very end, hoping for a happy [or logical] ending. Do you talk to your characters?

            Another thing I like in my writing space is a fresh, hot pot of tea. I must have been English in my last life. Brewing a fresh pot of tea relaxes me. It helps me think. Taking the time to step away from the computer to pour another cup of hot tea allows me to consider my story as a whole and decide what should happen next. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t drink wine. What’s your mental go-to drink when writing?

            A pad of paper and pen are essential to my writing space. Most of my YA adventures deal with journeys through forests or caves, down rivers or across mountains. I like to draw crude maps to keep me focused on the literal journey while my characters are struggling on the inside with personal problems. I also write key words or notes on the pad of paper. How about you, do you draw maps for your story or plot lines?

            I also keep my family camping journals handy because they’re crammed with details of the national parks we’ve visited with the five kids. Many times, one of my YA adventures begins at a park we’ve visited. I peek inside my journals to find our family’s real life adventures, looking for ideas to fictionalize for my characters.  Do you keep journals of real life events to fictionalize in story?

            How about photographs of places and people? They help me visualize a scene or a character in my stories. Then I begin to ask questions: if a storm comes up in the mountains here at Rocky Mountain National Park, where could I hide until it pasts? What about a fire in the desert? Who could be living in that cave or who could I meet on the trail that would add more tension to the story or assist my protagonist to finish the journey? Stories have both internal and external problems, remember. How about you, do you use real photos of places you’ve been to or do you search online to find locations to set your scenes in?

So how do you find creativity in your writing space? Please share any information here at Adventures in Writing.

Thanks for visiting. Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s SupportGroup. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.  

20 comments:

  1. I like visuals but I'll admit I have never drawn a map.

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    1. Visuals keep me grounded as to where I am literally in the story journey. Your maps might be more difficult to draw, Alex, as you write sci-fi fantasy. Thanks so much for all you do to assist your fellow writer, Alex. And thanks for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Happy holidays, sir!

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  2. I haven't drawn a map either, though since I write fantasy, I may need to. Must be hard to find quiet time with 5 kids.

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    1. Oh. My. Gosh! It is difficult to find time to write, Natalie, although they are my inspiration for the YA stories. Yes, I was telling Alex above, creating maps is probably way beyond my ability for fantasy stories, although I bet they would help the writer.

      Thanks for your note on Adventures in Writing. All best to you and enjoy your holiday!

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  3. The only thing that I have that you don't is a bobble head of Groot. He was so cute as a sprout. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I'm trying to think here, Anna. I think my daughter has a bobble head of Groot, but I think I'll leave it in her room.

      It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Anna. Enjoy your holiday!

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  4. My notebooks are the missing pieces of my memories - a second brain.

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    1. That's great, Roland. I love how you said that. Bravo! Thanks for your note on Adventures in Writing. All best to you and enjoy your holiday!

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  5. My writing space always changes. And so do my tea mugs. Although, recently, we’ve come to use our own during house sits. We love them (they were a gift of a ceramic artist home owner we house sat for) and there’s less chance of breaking a cup from the house we stay at. :-) Pen and paper are always handy.

    Yes, I’ve kept a diary for almost 30 years, have thousands of photos and uncountable notes. Yet, I rarely use any of it for writing my memoir. It’s long enough without those stimulations. :-)

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    1. Good for you, Liesbet, keeping a diary for 30 years! There must be so much treasure in there for the memory and other possible memoir stories or books. I have notes and photos everywhere. Sometimes I think you're better off NOT owning a home. It fills up too quickly. And how interesting an artist gave you mugs. I would cherish them as well. I'd be lost without pen and paper!

      It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Liesbet. Enjoy your holiday!

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  6. I have done a map for myself but not to show anyone. I like maps, but also can be a great mind mapping exercise. Pick a spot and say this happened here to get moving sometimes. Or create a spot and build from there.
    Happy IWSG Day.

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    1. Maps are absolutely helpful to move forward in writing, whether you show them to anyone else or not.

      Thanks so much for your note on Adventures in Writing, Juneta. All best to you and enjoy your holiday!

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  7. I like quiet too. And have a crude map of a setting in my novel taped next to where I sit to write. I don't talk to my characters, but get excited when I know a paragraph is a good one because it tips off or reveals something at the right time. I try leaning on my memory of a place that I've put in the story, but sometimes need to visit or ask someone who's been there for clarity. Great post. Thanks.

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    1. Quiet and crude maps are the best to help writers understand where we are in place and time. Bravo to you to see when a paragraph is a good one. Sometimes I have difficulty seeing that. Looking for clarity of place is always a good thing.

      It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Dawn. Thanks so much for your note. Merry Christmas!

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  8. I have absolutely drawn maps, just so I can figure out the logic of what I'm writing. Does it make directional sense? I would be so embarassed if anyone ever saw my maps, though, because my drawing skills haven't improved much since grade school. ;)

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    1. Oh my gosh, Raimey! I can't draw either. My maps are skeletal outlines as to where the protagonist is in her surroundings. I need a visual to see if what I'm saying is correct to what I'm thinking in the story. So far, I haven't had to let anyone other than family see the map. I have had to offer other research for my stories to the editor, but not the maps.

      It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, Raimey. Thanks so much for your note. Enjoy your holidays!

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  9. Quiet would be nice for a writing space. Unfortunately I've had to learn to make do. It's why I often put on the headphones and listen to music while I write.

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    1. I truly wish I could do that, Lynda, but I'd be distracted by the music. I enjoy listening to music, and I'm paying attention to the music. I like headphones as opposed to ear buds, but to drown out outside noise, I need cup headphones.

      It's so good to see you here at Adventures in Writing, Lynda. I hope all is well. Thanks for your note. Enjoy your holidays!

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  10. Since I set a lot of my stories in places where I've traveled, I also reference journals I wrote during my trips. Recently, the daily blog posts I wrote while in Romania have been a lifesaver.

    I hear ya on the need for silence. I don't have children, unless you count the four-legged variety, but I can't write with music or any kind of distracting background noise. It makes me reluctant to live with anyone again.

    Happy holidays, Victoria!

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  11. I just told Lynda above that I also can't listen to any distracting background noises either while I write, J.H. Good for you keeping journals of your trips like I do. They truly help with specifics when setting a story in that locale.

    Thanks for your note here at Adventures in Writing. Happy holidays, J. H.

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