One of the coolest things about writing is the fact that there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. All writers have distinctive styles, and to develop these styles, we engage in creative processes that are just as unique as our own fingerprints. For instance, while one writer might like to brainstorm all of her story ideas at her desk, another may prefer to do her thinking in the bathtub. And while one writer may seek creative inspiration through music, another might prefer to draft her manuscripts to little more than the sound of her snoring dogs. No two writers are the same, and because of that, there are billions of different creative processes! How cool is it that all of these different processes can generate so many great ideas?
For me, an important part of the creative process is art. Although I don’t necessarily think of myself as an artist, I like to draw pictures of my main characters while I’m writing about them. Doing so provides me with visual aids that enable me further develop my characters’ personalities. For example, after writing the first draft of ALANA OPOSSUM, my upcoming picture book, I drew a picture of Alana in my sketchbook. There, I saw a sense of sincerity in her eyes that I had failed to show readers through my text. Consequently, in my second draft, I gave Alana some dialogue that matched the sincerity I saw – a subtle, yet effective touch that I think improved the tone of my manuscript.
Pictured below is one of the original drawings I made of Alana Opossum. Although I’m sure she’s much different than the Alana that will appear in my book, she will always be an important part of the ALANA OPOSSUM story – physical evidence of the creative process at work!