There have been many times when I wanted to work on my story, but I wasn’t ready to write. I needed to contemplate, brainstorm, plot. One of the things I enjoy doing is drawing scenes. You don’t have to be an experienced artist to do this. Stick figures work, too.
I’ve been regularly drawing scenes from my stories in a series of sketchbooks since I was about twelve. It’s sort of like a pictorial journal.
On a side note: Parents of friends as well as aunts and uncles used to excitedly ask to see my sketchbooks. As they flipped through the pages, their brows furrowed more and more. Eventually, they would hand the sketchbook back with a disturbed expression and say, “You’re kind of violent.” My response was always, “What??? No I’m not. I just like to draw the dramatic parts of my stories. Who wants to draw the part where the characters are sitting around eating dinner? Why wouldn’t I draw a picture of a knife fight or kidnapping or shooting or someone hanging over a pit lava falling slowly to her doom?” XP In my defense, I had a very cartoony idea of violence. The good guys always survived, and if they didn’t, somebody brought them back to life. XD
As I’m drawing—erasing lines, redrawing them, sketching grass, coloring in faces—I think about the characters and their interactions, the times of conflict, danger, and love. It helps me to flesh things out. I can go back and look at the pictures to refresh my memory of a particular scene.
And then, I can use the pictures for movie trailers. 😉