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3 Essential Drafting Tools for Visual Writers


Yesterday, I gave my students a multiple intelligence exercise. We talked about how MI strengths can affect the way we learn and communicate. It can also inform the way we plan, draft and write. When we’re writing, we use all sort of tools – dictionaries, notebooks, pens, thesauruses, highlighters, laptops, the internet… the list is endless.

But there are three essential tools that I cannot do without. They help me locate and remember ideas; plot a story or plan a report; keep me on track when I’m writing a draft; and, most importantly, are all visual in some way.


1. Post-it notes

I can’t organise much of anything without these multicoloured bits of paper. They are so useful. From marking my notebooks, to planning a novel, to recording inspiring quotes, to listing classroom activities – the trusty post-it is a must in my arsenal.


2. Large sheets of paper

Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love large sheets of paper? You can make awesome paper airplanes with them. You can turn them into folding books or cover them in photos cut from the newspaper. But big paper is perfect for scrawling with thick textas (another favourite tool of mine), covering with post-it notes, and in general visualising my ideas.


3. Scissors

Forget drawing arrows to move paragraphs. Cut out the draft and move it around on the table. This is one of the best ways to play around with plot, and works with just about any type of draft – whether it’s a short story, essay, poem or chapters of a novel.


What sort of writer are you? Do you have special tools that you love to use? Anything a little unusual?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 08.04.2012 10:02 PM

    You sound like a great teacher!
    Your students are truly blessed.

    • 09.04.2012 9:05 AM

      Thanks! I introduced them to the MI theory, but haven’t used this drafting technique with them yet. Might do it after holidays, so they can rejig their essays before handing them in…

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