{discover.play.build.} make a map

Maps fill my notebooks. They are almost magical for me to find a story, to jump into a story, or to revise a story.

Map of the fictional town for my YA book.
Maps are most useful to me as a writer when they fill the space. When I take the time to go beyond the obvious places on a map and drill down to the details, ideas begin to bubble. In this map, I added a lot of questions to it because I was trying to figure out more about the story. 
Most of the maps in my notebooks are of places smaller than towns. I zoom in on parks, houses, rooms, and lockers. And sometimes they aren’t even places, but things like a map of a dog, a map of my son’s shirt, a map of the day.
Add a map to your notebook. Even if you’ve sketched a map before, challenge yourself to make another map of a different place. Maybe zoom in and discover the new details just waiting to be noticed.

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  1. I've not tried this, so I will try this and see where it leads me! A great idea. I wasn't in this session so I'll have to check out the info on this. There is so much to learn! I'll check out the tweets too. Thanks for the encouragement! I did click on the feed yesterday and I'll try this one later. I have company coming! :o) Happy slicing and tweeting! :o)

  2. I have my class make a map of a special area to trigger memories so they have ideas to write about when working on personal narratives. I love this idea though…painting a picture with details to inspire detailed writing. I'll have to get out my notebook and get doodling on my map. Can't wait to learn more about the YA you're working on.

  3. I am loving this new series so much! I especially love that you are showing us glimpses into your own notebook. I rarely include maps into my own writer's notebook, so I appreciate the nudge to experiment with them more often.

  4. @Elizabeth G. — Thanks. Ralph Fletcher suggests having kids mark story ideas with a big X on their maps. Kinda like “x marks the spot for a treasure.” When I use this in classrooms, kids always jump all over it.

    @ Mrs. V — Thank you thank you thank you. 🙂 I've realized my writer's notebook is invaluable to me as a writer. I know there are a million different ways to keep a notebook, and I enjoy learning new ways to fill the pages to make my imagination work in different ways.