My next writing tip is one that I love doing; I do it all the time and have thousands of these items. The tip goes hand in hand with my last tip of make sure you write everything down in a notebook.
So todays top tip is…Photography
I use photography all the time for research and to remember the feel of a place or an event. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I believe that is true. Which is why it works so well alongside your notebook. Smart phones are ideal for this as most people tend to have their mobile (cell) phone with them all of the time. This means that they are ideal for quick snaps when you see something you may want to remember for a scene in a story or even just some small detail, for example a vase that you want to use as an important prop within a story.
So what do I do with these pictures? Well as you know I take my notebook with me everywhere, so while I have probably scribbled a few sentences down about a place, I usually take a photograph of it as well if I intend to use it somewhere within a story. Usually I take photographs of scenery, sometimes people, or objects. This means that when I get home I can print and then glue the picture in my notebook next to the words I have written down and use them to remember the key feelings I want to portray in words.
I use photography a lot when conducting research, for example recently I wanted to write a short story about a RAF Bomber crew during WW2, so it gave my husband and I the perfect opportunity to visit a WW2 airbase museum for the day. (Luckily I have an amazing husband who supports my sudden spontaneous desires to visit obscure places). It was a fantastic day, I got to wander around making notes and taking photos of the various buildings, aircraft, uniforms and everyday items that the crew and support staff used, the music that they listened too and experience the sense of living in constant fear that each day may be their last. Having the photographs to revisit when you’re ready to write your story really helps you to recapture the feel for the place/time/era.
You don’t have to be a great photographer, I certainly am not, as long as your photographs help you to remember the feelings and sense of what you want to convey in your writing that is all that matters.