Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Wallpaper Way of Writing

by Lee Ann Setzer

This is not exactly a writing tip. If it's a character quirk, it's a new one.

I seem to be wallpapering with my latest story. A friend and I are writing together, and we're generating copious amounts of random notes: sketches, lists of synonyms, timelines, webs, writing in all directions on the paper. A new paper always starts out as a tidy little task: "Timeline," or "Outline." Then it turns into yet another square in the crazy quilt on the wall. One piece of paper says "Map." It's blank. Whenever we need the map, we get it down off the wall and draw on it with our fingers.

Each brainstorming session generates a couple more pieces of paper, and at the end, I feel happy when I tape them all to the wall. I'm on the second wall now, and we're not half done yet.

Possibly, this only means that my lead eye for decorating has hit a new low: Early American Crazy Lady. I hope it's a sign that the inner Creative Chick is feeling more free to experiment without worrying what the neighbors think. In my dreams, the Wallpaper Way of Writing is the key to unlocking vast reservoirs of potential, the secret the world's been waiting for.

I'll keep you posted.


Janet Kay Jensen said...

was that last pun intended?

Fanny Flagg says she hangs all her chapters on a clothesline down her long hallway and pulls one chapter off at time - - that's how whe puts them in order sometimes. She struggles with some dyslexia. But if it works for Fanny - and I find her writing genuine and entertaining - - well, I guess the world's just one big clothesline - or whiteboard - or empty wall waiting for post-it notes. Whatever works! I'll be interested to see how your project turns out!

Bhuvan Chand said...
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Marsha Ward said...

I love it!