Envisaging your World

Recently I wrote a post for a Daily Prompt exercise named ‘Roy G. Biv’. It dug up old memories of a story I wrote at primary school – a desert island story which, as I remember, I held very dear and worked on for months. Before I continue, I will be recapping on the story however if you wish to read what I wrote before click here.

I have some news for you. I will be taking up my original idea in this story and rewriting it in a more mature way (in other words, not in childish ramblings!), introducing more adult concepts and making it more interesting. So I began writing today, just with a pen and blank A4 paper. My main principle in this project is to carefully recreate what I had written before in my primary years. It’s a great shame that I don’t have the original copy of the story, and that I’m totally relying on what I remember from back when I wrote it. However it’s giving me huge amounts of enjoyment and that, I suppose, is a good enough reason to continue rewriting it!

So to remind you what my story is about:

It’s about a man who is on an island in the middle of nowhere, striving to survive in the jungle and trying to search for a mythical beast. During his exploration of the island he finds the beast, a giant jungle lion man type affair (more details if you click herewho changes form between night and day. The beast tries to hunt him down and a large amount of the story is about him trying to evade this beast. That’s the basis of it.

Three pages into rewriting the story today and I had a problem – I couldn’t envisage the place the character was in. It’s a scene on a beach after he’s come out of the forest, and he’s looking at the sunrise. Recently I found a set of really nice, good quality watercolour pencils that I didn’t know I had. Watercolour pencils are my favourite way to create a colour picture by a long shot, so I took up my sketchbook and with my amateur “skills” I began to paint what I thought this particular scene would look like.

What you need to do is gather your thoughts into one place, and if you can’t do that in your head do it another way. Here is my head before I started painting:

(Psst! Sorry about the poor lighting - phone cameras are the worst!)
(Psst! Sorry about the poor lighting – phone cameras are the worst!)

And here’s what it looked like after I had gathered my thoughts (it does look a whole lot more vibrant in real life):

Gathered Head

That managed to let me carry on writing! It’s fantastic, and now I have something to look at and think ‘Wow! Did I managed even that?!’.

I am notorious for writing as I go along. That is to say I don’t plan what I write in great detail – I know where I start and where I finish, how I get there is up to me at the time. That means I’m also pretty bad at gathering my thoughts when I’m not really trying. It takes just that little bit more effort for me to gather my thoughts than perhaps you do. Literally painting a certain scene is just one of the ways I gather my thoughts, even if it does take half an hour to an hour to do so.

As I think about this, I realise how important it is to envisage the world you’re writing about, whether that’s in your head or as I’ve done and made it a physical object. Usually I find it no problem to envisage a scene in my head, however today I’m feeling particularly unwell and I think that has a lot to do with it. That’s interesting too, learning about what affects how you think and perform. If you have any experiences relating to this, be my guest to share in the comments too! It’s interesting how this works, and would be interesting to see how others do the same.

I will also be posting up the rewritten story in sections of around a thousand words at a time, hopefully reaching around twenty posts in total so I have a good 20,000-word story, so stick around!

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