A couple of months ago, I was struggling with a scene in my historical novel. There were too many things to keep track of. I had five characters, three horses, two dogs, a wolf, two houses, a river and a bridge. It was a chase scene that was going flying in all directions because I couldn’t see in my mind’s eye what could happen or even what was most likely to happen. I couldn’t see what was impossible given the placement of the bridge and the movement of the events. I needed concrete help.
So I went into the labyrinth that is my son’s room. I grabbed up plastic figures that could stand in for my characters, animals and setting. I put the Lego men and the flying dragons to work.
I roughed up the terrain on my bed (held down at two corners by cats) and moved the plastic figures as I played out what I thought might happen in the scene.
Suddenly things fell into place. One character had to leave at a certain time, another character had to find their way around the river….Possibilities that hadn’t occurred to me were suddenly, obviously the answer to what-will-happen-next. I was saved by the concrete. And the plastic.
You can read the longer writing tip about engaging in the physical world by visiting the Literary Rambles blog that I did a guest post on: http://www.literaryrambles.com/2013/04/tip-tuesday-130.html