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I am equal parts visual and kinesthetic which explains why I have to motivate myself with a craft project to start a writing project.
|Sad Old Tree Limb|
This tree limb was hanging too low over the driveway, so my husband chopped it off. As it lay in the yard last August, leaves wilting, I decided it was too pretty to become yard waste. If Crate & Barrel can charge $80 for bamboo branches, I’ll be content to do a little labor to decorate my office. Plus, I’m pretty sure my branch’s carbon footprint is lower.
Of course I didn’t want the leaves wilting on my desk, so I pulled them off and trimmed the branches a bit. I put two large screws into the studs and wired the branch to the screws.
At that time I was thinking about an outline for a novel. This tree branch, combined with the traditional Aristotelian dramatic arc might lend itself to the type of story I’ve been thinking of.
Out come the craft supplies:
|Punched-out Tags & Ultra-fine Point Sharpies|
|Twine & Clothes Pins|
The twiggy parts of the right end of the limb represent different characters as their story lines are introduced. As the twigs intersect on the limb, so do the characters’ lives.
|Tree Limb in Action|
It’s okay if the story movement doesn’t mimic the tree limb exactly. I never want to be formulaic. The best part about a pre-writing exercise is purging ideas onto paper before they slip away.
This exercise gets my body out of my desk chair and ideas out of my head. Of course, these ideas will be reordered, deleted, and supplemented throughout the writing process. A visual learner like me can find security in this colorful visual outline to consult rather than scrolling through pages of a traditional outline or, worse yet, relying on my slippery memory.
Discover how you learn and never stop.