While working on a writing project, author Susan Campbell Bartoletti recalls drawing a map of the neighborhood she lived in as a child as well as her childhood home. As she sketched the house plans, memories of events and emotions associated with each room flooded back. That simple exercise helped her establish a deeper connection to her story, she said at a November conference of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in Illinois.
Think about the project you're working on now. What is your inspiration for the setting? Is there a connection to a real place? Who cares if you're not an artist — this isn't about creating a masterpiece drawing. Postboard and a pack of colored pencils won't help you discover your inner artist but it can bring out hidden elements of your story. Making the map was also a fun distraction from the actual writing, even though I was technically still working on the manuscript.
Have you ever mapped your setting?