In my post about Writing with a Storyboard, I mentioned that I use Minecraft® to build the sets for my stories in Minecraft. It started when my dad suggested doing it for my storyboard and turned into somewhat of a hobby. Because of the way I write (in chapter or episode segments), I have a special system that I have perfected over time.
I start by figuring out the main scenes of the episode or chapter, where they are going to happen and in what kind of building they are in. When I write, I go over a scene multiple times in my imagination trying different character tones and such, but I also think about the impression I want the room to make on my characters and my readers. Then I use that feeling and the image in my head to build the area, experimenting with lighting and colors.
Sometimes, I have a room that doesn’t really give an impression to the character. This can be a bedroom, their house, or thing they see everyday (like the square from Episode 1 of my Star Wars® fan-fiction, the Phantom Jedi). However, I still think about how I can illustrate it to my readers. When I was building the square, I took the inspiration from a Clone Wars® episode and paid a lot of attention to the details.
That is why I switched recently from doing full-blown worlds and cities, to doing the sets. I can pay even more attention to details and I don’t have to pay as much attention to the surroundings. Not only that, but making just the sets takes way less time, especially since I am writing 3-4 different stories at once. :)
Depending on what kind of story your children are writing, and what kind of writer they are, their approach will be different. Some will build first and then write. Others will write first and build second. And there are some who do what I do and write and build as the inspiration comes.
Inspiration: a sudden brilliant, creative, or timely idea (Wikipedia)
However you child writes or builds, being able to walk in the place where their story takes place will help them be more descriptive. Not only that, but it will help even your most hesitant writer get excited about sharing their thoughts and imagination with the world!
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