Step Four -
Sketch Your Setting
Like paper dolls, coloring books and paint by numbers, Step four is a fun step, especially helpful for all of us visual learners.
If you don’t have a notebook for your novel, buy one. You want to physically draw the neighborhood and the interior space where most of your story will take place. No need to be a graphic artist for this step, a rough picture of your scene will do.
For example, a room used frequently in your story: etch in the major pieces of furniture, placement of windows and doors, as well as which direction is north. In the novel I’m working on, I had to do this for a neighborhood that held a string of buildings important in the storyline. Also, I had to do the layout of the apartments above the stores. With a sketch, you won’t be floundering around later, like I did before the sketch, trying to decipher what’s what, and making sure the layout made sense to the readers.
If your book is set mostly in a neighborhood or small town, sketch out the relevant cross streets and put labeled boxes where you imagine all the businesses and homes would be.
Setting sketches anchor your writing and allow you to maintain congruity in your place descriptions. Staple in a photo or two if you come across an image that visually captures an element of your setting. This step, like the first three, will enable you to go with the flow when you write.
Have a good time playing with your scenes this week. If you recall, the Pyramid method, is a “reversed” pyramid with the smaller steps at the bottom. Not sure the next step is harder necessarily, but will be more time consuming.
Have a great week,