Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wizardry Writing Wednesday #1 by Wizard Lexiconi - IDEA MAPS

Hail young scribes! Wizard Lexiconi here with our first lesson, and a very important one, indeed.

Where do Ideas Come From?

Well, folks all you need to do is look around. Everything that surrounds you, the places you go, the things you see, the people you meet are all inspiration for stories. 

You're shoes? There are many wild and even serious books about shoes. 
You're school... too many books to even count about what happens in a school.
Crazy parents or caregivers? Siblings? Pets? Yes, my fantastic friends, life itself is full of story possibilities.  

Yet, not every incident that happens to you needs to be put into a story. We don't need the details of how you climbed out of bed, picked up the least smelliest thing to wear from the carpet of clothing covering your bedroom floor, and then traipsed off to the kitchen to pour another bowl of Fruity Pebbles because that's what you have every morning. 

Did your eyes glaze over at that incredibly long sentence? My quill went dull from writing it. 

How do we know what makes for a fantastically fabulous story and what makes a horribly horrid story? 

Well now, my fine young scholar, that depends on your likes and dislikes. Grab yourself a piece of paper. hurry now, time's a wasting. Fold the parchment in half and write at the top: Fantastic Books and Horrid Books. Those stories that you have read that you couldn't put down, list under the Fantastic side. Those you tried to read, or had to read but hated, list on the Horrid side. 

Take a good, long look at those two list. What kind of pattern do you see? Are your taste more of fantasy realm? Perhaps adventure or action books excite you most? Maybe you love the days of yesteryear historical fiction? The out of this world science fiction? All these taste, are actually genres, and we'll talk more about genres next week. 



Here's your assignment for today:
Draw a map of the home you've lived in the longest amount of time. You might have to a couple of maps if you've moved around a lot, or use one standard map for all your homes. 

Now, spend about 20 or 30 minutes just strolling down memory lane. Jot down all the biggest, most lingering memories that come to you. There's a reason they've stuck around. Maybe you broke your arm wrestling on the top bunk and you fell off. Write that memory on a sticky note and attach it to the bedroom. Have you every tried to cook something and it went terribly wrong? Or miraculously right? Sticky Note It!!!

Here is a sample of one of the Queen's Memory Maps
She drew a sketch outline of one of her childhood homes, and then made notes on incidents she remembers  while living there. She's always loved having pets and has moved from dogs to dragons since entering the Book Kingdom. I personally love frogs and can't have enough of them around.
Keep writing down as many memories that come until you've emptied your brain of them. If you'd like to take it a step further, draw up a map of your school and do the same thing. I'm sure there are many crazy stories of the happenings in the halls of learning.

Remember, most important, keep the notes simple. These are merely memory joggers, not complete stories. The real writing comes later. 



Keep your Memory Map for later.
Next week, I'll talk to you about genres and then we'll pull out those memory maps the week after and I'll show you how to turn those memories into wonderful wizardly word stories. 

Until next week, 
Let your imagination weave some wacky tales. 
Wiz. Lexiconi, Sr. Mage 1st class: Fabulist extraordinaire


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