I had a very profound thought at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
As Bob and I waited in line for Expedition Everest, we marveled over the work Disney’s Imagineers put into the queue. It was just as interesting as the ride, and immersed us in Tibetan culture with its architectural details, theming, and storytelling. The prayer flags, pottery, climbing gear, outpost store, and–of course–warnings of the Yeti, made us feel as though we were entering a whole new world.
It got me to thinking:
How awesome of a job is that, being a Disney Imagineer?
How awesome would be it be create new worlds?
Which leads me to my profound moment. As we stepped aside to wait for the front row, (it’s always front row for us,) it hit me:
I create worlds.
As writers and illustrators, we all get to create worlds. And characters. And history. And the future, the past, the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.
Sit back and really, really think about it for a second.
We create worlds.
How cool is that?
I have to admit that there are times when I don’t appreciate this fact. I sometimes get so bogged down with plot, deadlines, or publishing in general that I forget how much of a blessing it is, having the ability to create worlds and cast it with characters of my choosing. So, I’m using my profound Disney moment as inspiration for this week’s exercise/challenge:
Exercise #10 / Conference Challenge #6:
Don’t you love it when books include a map at the beginning? Debra Wiles’s Love, Ruby Lavender has one. (Love her.) So does Sheila Turnage in her mid-grade novel, Three Times Lucky. (Love that.) Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings has maps that are daunting and complex, but then again, their journey is very daunting and complex. (Haven’t read it yet, but will someday.)
So here’s our task for the week, both for writers and illustrators.
We’re going to create a map for a new world.
Something different from any current work in progress. You can do anything – a charming Main Street with labels for the eccentric storekeepers, a gritty, abandoned theme park, a futuristic shopping mall, or countryside in the Middle Ages, anything! It can be simple or daunting, just sent your clock for thirty minutes, put on your Disney ears, let you imagination flow, and HAVE FUN with this one!
You never know. This map could lead to your next project …
Happy writing and drawing, everyone!