Remembering the Tricks

A fellow blogger and supporter of mine recently reminded me of a post I wrote a while back that discussed the blind contour line drawing prompt envisioned by Philip Hartigan and Patrician Ann McNair. “It is a wonderful idea and has been serving me well,” she wrote, and the timing of her message couldn’t have been any better. I’d been stuck on a scene with my new character Nathan. I understood that I wanted him to walk up a hill through the woods to the firing range. It all seemed simple enough. But because I’m consciously changing my process right now and shifting away from scene and dialogue in order to indulge more in back-story and characterization, my old tricks weren’t working. I tried the blind contour line prompt and came up with 300 words. Then 300 more came. Then another 300.
I recently published an essay describing this prompt and my understanding of why, sometimes, in order to write we need to draw first. That essay was published last month in TRACHODON Issue 3, a magazine I am very proud of and have worked tirelessly for since its inception. Since you’re a reader and supporter of my work on The Writing Life, here is a promo code offering you a discount on this magazine. Need a preview? Click here.

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