When I was a kid, I loved to sketch. I would grab the Sunday comics out of the newspaper and look for a new character to add to my sketch books. I could keep busy for hours sketching all kinds of subjects. Before the pencil hit the paper, my mind's eye could see how the lines and dimension of the sketch would come together. My sketching was a favorite hobby. For whatever reason, I didn't pursue my drawing in any formal way. As I got older, I started to devote all my free time to reading. Book after book would impress me with interesting characters, multi-layered plots and beautiful prose. I would be left with vivid visual images after reading amazing passages. Soon, I decided to attempt to express myself through writing. Once I began writing poetry, I would spend my afternoon hours writing in a poetry notebook. My sketch book became part of my childhood. It was not the forum for me anymore.
Now I sketch out my ideas loosely in my head before I craft images and present thoughts into a poem. Just like my early days of sketching, I will sometimes work with a visual cue to serve as a catalyst for my poem. Whether I'm drafting a poem or sketching a picture, I see that those same creative "muscles" are being exercised when I commit to creating something artistically. This kind of sketching may serve me well as I now attempt to venture into novel writing. I can see this is how I approach any new creative project, so I guess I better start with what works for me. I know that I have a long road ahead of me, but I look forward to pushing myself in this new direction. I'm hoping that my reliance on visualization does not limit my ability to fully grow as a novel writer. I wonder if the poet in me will fight the long, narrative form of the novel. Well, I'll soon see if those two sides of me can coexist as I try to write a novel. There are plenty of wonderful books out there to help new writers. I feel lucky to have such great information and resources available on many terrific writers' blogs. It's time to take out my pencil and "sketch" out a novel writing plan.