But I promised to discuss the work I’ve been doing on the new WIP and knowing the places in the work. I made a map of the town a month ago and it helped immensely. My heroine grew up in a house, moved into a house she called “the mausoleum” at eighteen when she got married, moved into a tiny apartment at 18 when she got divorced, and finally ended up living above a dance studio in a three bedroom apartment she renovated. Important things happened to her–turning points in her life, if not the story–in these places. I need to see them.
I tried looking at pictures. Incidentally, Apartment Therapy is an awesome site. So I bought a graph paper pad and I just drew the dance studio/apartment in no time. I then described the way the rooms looked. I included whoever’s viewpoint popped into my head, because different people see different things. This helps me in two ways: 1) I can visualize these important places and the events that took place there easier and 2) I’ve got ready made description when I write scenes in those places.
I was amazed at how much such simple pre-writing work actually ignited my imagination. If you find something similar works for you, please share it.