Back Stage at the Novel House

Back Stage at the Novel House

I’ve been making good progress on my novel (working title “The Scent of Memory”) recently and here is my secret weapon.

This is a picture of two whiteboard covered in scrawly text

(there is also a secondary whiteboard stuck to the cupboard door in the bedroom)

I am able to pace, have random ideas and scrawl them on a wall without any inconvenient getting out a notebook or flipping open a laptop (and all the distractions within the laptop). It’s just me and the wall.

One of the advantages of this over a notebook or scrap paper is my space is finite and a can’t forget where I put it. I scrawl, grab the essence, put it all down, but at some point I have to do stuff with it or the idea has to be so important it justifies using up real estate (such as letters on the top right corner MSMWG, which means More Space Monkey’s With Guns. MSWG is a motto of mine inspired by Eddie Izzard and is a reminder to take make strong decisions and not be afraid).

The clutter reminds me I need to do more with these raw ideas and once I write up stuff that I have scrawled I get to erase chunks of it. Erasing stuff from the whiteboard (technically a whiteyboard) I physically and metaphorically clear up mental space. That empty space refreshes me, rewards me, and invites me to fill it again. The black text on the right panel had a different scene on it yesterday. It was white space for a few hours before filling up within three hours with ideas for two new scenes.

Whenever I’m typing and the well runs dry there are always easy to find notes I can type up and rediscover. And nothing refills the well so much as the ability to run around while writing on walls.

3 thoughts on “Back Stage at the Novel House

  1. this is a great idea, Liz. I’ve been tempted to do similar – except what I’d really love to do is paint my walls with chalkboard paint and get a big box of chalk. Not as permanent, though.

    Am glad to know the secret origins of MSMWG. Good mantra to write by…


  2. Heya Andy,

    I too was tempted by chalkboard paint right up until I experienced chalkboard paint and an old workplace. I imagine chalkboard paints aren’t all created equal, ’cause the one we had was nasty to write on.

    I love how flexible the whiteyboard stickers are. I’ve already moved them a couple of times, not to mention rather badly cut them up with stickers!

    This is the specific bit of Eddie for the full secret origins

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