A baseball pitcher imagines the pitch he throws-before throwing it. A gymnast mentally reviews her routine-before executing it. A tennis player sees the swing of the racket in her mind-before each game. Athletes use mental imagery to improve their performance and connect the body to the mind.
Writers should use mental imagery before they write a scene.
I remember telling my students in English 101 writing is not about just holding a pen and moving the hand to form words. It’s a mental exercise. While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how often people think of writing as just the physical act of typing on the keyboard, or writing words on a paper.
Sometimes, I’ll sit down to write a scene and my fountain runs drive. No words come to mind. There are several ways to get past this fiction writing obstacle, but the easiest is to just sit and think for five minutes. As specific details of the scene pop into your head, jot them down. The order doesn’t matter. Just think before you write.
“If you want to write faster, the first step is to know what you’re writing before your write it.”
-Rachel Aaron, fantasy and science fiction author
So next time you sit down to write a scene, take a deep breath, exhale and just daydream about what’s going to happen in your story.
Here are some recent articles on writing I’ve read lately:
- Traps to Avoid when Writing in the First Person
- Avoid this way to confuse your readers
- Mindset Matters — 8 Simple Steps to Better Writing Habits
- Writing Dialogue And Character Voice With Jeff Elkins
- Change Matters: How to Write Stories that Grip Readers & Don’t Let Go