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More story jewels, and a map to find them

October 22, 2012  |  Uncategorized

Writing can be a lonely endevour and so I’m often on the look-out for a course or workshop where I can mingle with my tribe. Not online but with real, live people.

A workshop I did a while ago was with talented SA author/illustratorĀ  Reviva Schermbrucker and one of the tools she showed us to spark our childhood memories went something like this:

Step 1: use a large sheet of blank paper + pencil/pen,

Step 2: picture a house and neighbourhood in which you spent a lot of time as a child,

Step 3: draw a map of this area (no art skills necessary!),

Step 4: make notes all around your map – favourite play places, neighbourhood friends, weird neighbours, crazy-kid trouble you created, happy times, sad times… and so on.

Step 5: choose one of these (or a couple that flow together) and write, write, write.


On that day my story map looked like this.


a corner of Kerry's memory

In a corner of Kerry's memory


The story jewels here included ‘the cliff with dassies and a cave fort’, ‘the berry hedge hiding place where we all got tummy aches’, ‘selling anti-social pies(!) to passers-by‘ and oh so many more

and when I was a lot older ‘Russell, the boy we loved to love’ and ‘Anton, the boy we loved to hate’.


Some of the roads on my map lead to dead-ends but many of them are little beacons vying for my attention and wanting to be added into a story.

What does your story map look like?

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