Drawing to Get in the Writing Mood

This is my day 5 update to InkPrepNoWricember.

I cam across an article by Temple Grandin with the highly inflammatory title Against Algebra, and with commendable open-mindedness for an algebra fan (tosses head), I actually read it. It’s good. I recommend it.

The point of it was not that learning algebra is bad, but rather, that we shouldn’t make algebra a requirement for continuing to learn mat, because there are people who could be good at math but struggle with algebra specifically, because they’re very visual learners.

The part that caught my interest was this quote:

There are two types of visual thinkers. Some visual thinkers, like me, are “object visualizers”—we see the world in photorealistic images. Many of us are graphic designers, artists, skilled tradespeople, architects, inventors, mechanical engineers. “Spatial visualizers” see the world in patterns and abstractions. They are the music and math minds—the statisticians, computer coders, electrical engineers, and physicists.

The Atlantic

I’m not sure about the division by professions (especially because I think lean toward the second type, but my jobs suggest the opposite). But the description as ‘photorealistic’ vs. ‘pattern’ struck a chord.

I have trouble going straight from a mental image to a description in words. That made it difficult to write descriptions (well) in my novel. When I tried, it felt like the details were blurring, moving around, or becoming bland.

But I can go from a mental image to a drawing just fine! So maybe I was skipping a step. I decided to use drawing to support my novel efforts.

It worked out pretty well – definitely fleshed out the scene far more than I could in my head. So, I’m hoping to keep this going. I’m not planning to draw every scene, because at that point, I’d be making a graphic novel. But just enough drawing to, you know, kind of get into the atmosphere.

And I think it’ll be fun to have these pictures up while I’m writing for inspiration! More to come.

A mystery setting that may or may not make it into the story.

Do you find that working in one medium can help you in another? Let me know in the comments!

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