Tools of the trade: Writing on Wallpaper

A long time ago I was part of a Plymouth-based writing group. One of the members mapped her novel out on wallpaper. She wrote, sticky-noted and otherwise scrapbooked on the back of it (non-design side), and then when she was done for the day, rolled it right back up (I believe she got the idea from someone else originally). It’s a great method if, like me, you have limited space or time to work with, and/or you want your planning portable. You can map out and entire timeline of events, character studies, or whatever it is in your head that you need to get out, and then tidy it all up into an easy-to-carry and innocuous roll of wonder.

I found some cheap wallpaper on Amazon with a brick pattern (I figured it went well with the genre I write; Urban fantasy). The roll was actually pretty wide, so I cut it in half (I’ll likely use the second half for another novel). If you’re using post-its on your wallpaper, use an additional bit of celotape to stick them down. Then when you’re repeatedly rolling and unrolling the wallpaper, they don’t get lost/move around and mess up your planning.

2 thoughts on “Tools of the trade: Writing on Wallpaper

  1. I find wallpaper planning works well, especially on complicated storylines. Lining paper is good because you can use both sides – and it’s cheap. Plus, you can see your whole story in one glance, rather than having to plough back and forth through pages in a notebook. Enjoy wallpapering!

    1. Great shout on the lining paper, John. I haven’t tried that (yet)! Both sides would be fantastic as you could timeline the story on one side and do something else on the back… maybe character studies or their own timelines. Hope everything’s good with you and the writing continues!

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