Friday, April 5, 2013


I thought I’d take a look at how I use visualization in my writing this post. I’m a visual person. I can ‘see’ with my brain. Those who do this themselves know what  I’m talking about. I was recently writing a scene in which the ranch foreman lost a bet and had to do ‘women’s work’ for a week. The novel is set on a ranch in Colorado in 1867. You can probably realize his attitude.

I can picture in my mind the pink ruffled apron the female lead made him wear. I can see what the garden looks like, the man up to his elbows in bread dough. The faces of the cowboys as they see the boss dressed in pink ruffles.

For me this is not something I only do while I’m actually typing. I can do this anywhere if there isn’t something else going on. No people or conversation. By being able to visualize I can ‘write out’ the scene in my head do that when I get back to the computer it’s there, ready to be written. If it’s something that occur later in the novel I will outline it in the synopsis in the index card for that chapter in Scrivener which is my writing program.

As I’ve said before, I usually have several novels in the works at one time. I can jump from one novel to another if I come up with an idea for one which I’m not acting upon at the moment. Do I always use the ideas? Not necessarily, but at least my brain is working on my projects and the scene could be used in a different work.

I do have a word of caution for you. I do this a lot when I’m driving. I live in a very rural area. There’s only 16,000 people in the county. There isn’t much traffic as I drive to town so the danger of ‘seeing’ the scene while I drive is less than in a more congested area.

I hope you can visualize as you write. It’s fun, for me anyway, and it’s one way to maximize your writing time. Having the scene played out in your head before you write keeps the juices flowing to your fingertips and on into the computer.

Sophie Dawson writes Christian fiction mostly of the Historical genre. She lives with her husband and cat in rural western Illinois. Her Cottonwood Series novels have been Indie Book of the Day and Healing Love received first place in the genre in’s 2012 contest.
Sophie blogs one a week on her website as well as in edition to
With three books in the works she hopes to have them released by June 2013.
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  1. Being able to visualize a scene can really bring it to life. Good post!

  2. I agree - that's what I do when I'm in that "what happens next" mode - I look off into the distance, with my eyes either open or closed, and try to watch what's going on.