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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Using Illustrations to Help your Writing

When creating a story and weaving a fabric for an imaginary world, there is nothing more potent for the imagination than an illustration. A well-drawn illustration can say the same thing as a thousand words, and the great thing is you don’t have to be a wonderful artist in order to sue this technique. 
The reason being that it is for you, it can be scruffy and messy and full of marginal notes and scribblings, so long as it makes up a plan for you that you can understand. 

There is a book entitled Wonderbook, The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, by Jeff vanderMeer,  which is a series of essays by writers and artists that link the use of imagery towards planning your next page-turner. It offers hints and tips on how to break that imagination open and dive into the waters that are your mind. You can use sketches, mind-maps, scribbles or beautifully crafted portraits to help guide yourself into your new world and help create a backdrop that is convincing as well as being unique. 

Making your own illustrations to help create your world can be very important, such as using maps to set a clear indication of where places lie in relation to each other and your characters movements, how long it would take to get there, who would they meet along the way?

Before letting your imagination run wild there has to be some sort of plan to work to, and the use of mind-maps to arrange this plan can be very effective. Mind-maps are a very useful tool as it enables you, the writer, to link events and people together making it certain how everyone and everything fits together. 

Storyboarding is also something that can be quite useful, especially if you are painting a world rich with character development and action. It is a technique that has been widely used in filmmaking, notably by Steven Spielberg who admits that he is no artist. It can aid you in visualising the scene that you want to describe and can help with quick sentences that increase the pace of your writing. 
Illustrations do not necessarily have to be for the benefit of the person who is reading  your script, although that of course can be a bonus. But if you are a stick-person drawer at best, like me, and do not have the skills to quickly bash-out a sketch or two with wonderful dimensions and scope, pictures that you know will never make it out into the public domain to sit alongside your text, then feel free to let your imagination run wild with your drawings. It can help in expanding your world that is your creation, and gives you an idea of the type of characters you are creating as well as the environment around them.

Just don’t let this illustration time get in the way of your writing time, it should work together, in tandem, and used as an aid memoire; not as a tool to fill a sheet of white paper!
Wonderbook is available now at all good retailers including Amazon, give it a search.  
When creating a story and weaving a fabric for an imaginary world, there is nothing more potent for the imagination than an illustration. A well-drawn illustration can say the same thing as a thousand words, and the great thing is you don’t have to be a wonderful artist in order to sue this technique. 
The reason being that it is for you, it can be scruffy and messy and full of marginal notes and scribblings, so long as it makes up a plan for you that you can understand. 

There is a book entitled Wonderbook, The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, by Jeff vanderMeer,  which is a series of essays by writers and artists that link the use of imagery towards planning your next page-turner. It offers hints and tips on how to break that imagination open and dive into the waters that are your mind. You can use sketches, mind-maps, scribbles or beautifully crafted portraits to help guide yourself into your new world and help create a backdrop that is convincing as well as being unique. 

Making your own illustrations to help create your world can be very important, such as using maps to set a clear indication of where places lie in relation to each other and your characters movements, how long it would take to get there, who would they meet along the way?
Before letting your imagination run wild there has to be some sort of plan to work to, and the use of mind-maps to arrange this plan can be very effective. Mind-maps are a very useful tool as it enables you, the writer, to link events and people together making it certain how everyone and everything fits together. 

Storyboarding is also something that can be quite useful, especially if you are painting a world rich with character development and action. It is a technique that has been widely used in filmmaking, notably by Steven Spielberg who admits that he is no artist. It can aid you in visualising the scene that you want to describe and can help with quick sentences that increase the pace of your writing. 
Illustrations do not necessarily have to be for the benefit of the person who is reading  your script, although that of course can be a bonus. But if you are a stick-person drawer at best, like me, and do not have the skills to quickly bash-out a sketch or two with wonderful dimensions and scope, pictures that you know will never make it out into the public domain to sit alongside your text, then feel free to let your imagination run wild with your drawings. It can help in expanding your world that is your creation, and gives you an idea of the type of characters you are creating as well as the environment around them.

Just don’t let this illustration time get in the way of your writing time, it should work together, in tandem, and used as an aid memoire; not as a tool to fill a sheet of white paper!
Wonderbook is available now at all good retailers including Amazon, give it a search.  

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