I’m a visual person. When it comes to writing or running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, I have this need to create the world in which the story takes place, more so than with words. I like maps.
|This is the setting for the first six levels of my Dungeons & Dragons 4th ed. campaign. It's drawn on parchment with a quill. Why, yes, I am in fact that nerdy.|
|This is of a world that I only ever imagined, conceived before I really began writing seriously. There are only a handful of handwritten pages concerning this world, cataloging the recent history of the main hero, and trade routes of all things.|
I really like maps.
I always have, since I first started writing fantasy. Each location on the map has a story, a purpose, a cast of characters waiting to come to life. These places are real worlds in my head, if not yet on paper.
I draw inspiration from these things. Maps inspire me to create stories that will fit in such a world. Other drawings help me better say what it is I want to say in my writing. There are snippets of drawings in my office including automaton designs, character sketches, and quick interior design drawings.
When I'm stuck on a project, I often go to the drawing board... literally. I work out what I can't say by sketching.
I think primarily in pictures, usually moving pictures in full technicolor. My visual-spatial intelligence is my greatest asset, but seeing as my mind is most forgetful, I transcribe my thoughts to paper, sketching out buildings, kitchens, innkeepers, props and the like, because it's by far much easier to draw what I'm thinking rather than explain it. I'm much better at explaining, but that usually takes a lot of time and concentration. When I'm writing a narrative, I don't think about setting or the visual aspects of the world. That's something I have to do separately. I get too caught up in the character action to pay attention to where they're doing said action.
As it stands, I find pictures to be the most inspirational medium I have at my disposal. When I can't find the images within myself, I peruse the many pictures of DeviantART, finding inspiration in what other, better artists have concocted.
What about you? Do you draw maps or sketch characters during the writing process? Do you think in pictures or words? Do you draw inspiration from artwork?