VISUALIZING LOCATIONS IN WRITING: augmenting with working graphics

As I was writing Monday afternoon, I realized I needed a better visual idea of what I was constructing on Midway Atoll in the follow-up to Wendall’s Lullaby. The vision in my mind was becoming too complex, too detailed to recall off-hand. I needed a cleaner image to reference outside of my mind. Consequently, I spent the better part of Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning creating a graphic representation of the top secret remake of Midway Atoll.


While the main focus of the remake is an advanced dolphin research facility, I also had to include the supporting infrastructure to bring the neglected and dilapidated island into (and beyond) the 21st Century. Of course the world in the follow-up novel is one in which the events of Wendall’s Lullaby have shaped the national security situation in the U.S.–including the black ops budget and some environmental concerns.

Militarily, the base has been rejuvenated–runways reconstructed, new hangers built, docking piers reconstructed. New structures are hardened against physical enemy attacks, cyber/electronic attacks and tropical cyclones. Historic features (buildings and memorials) have been preserved. Less-historic buildings have been refurbished for use–including the school, officer and civilian housing, gymnasium and fitness facilities, library, Navy Exchange (store), Captain’s Club and a small movie theater.

Environmentally, the new base at Midway is built to be self-sustaining/self-supporting and reasonably minimize the impact on the somewhat fragile atoll ecosystem.–especially following the initial construction phase. Main power is supplied via wind turbines, solar arrays and solar roofing panels. Human waste is recycled for the hydroponic farm and/or treated to a level compatible with release into the environment. Compostable solid waste is recycled on site while other solid waste is periodically shipped off the island for disposal. Overall solid waste production is minimized via the emphasis on procuring consumables in bulk–minimizing packaging.

While my vision of Midway is still evolving (even as I write this I’ve added a few details), having this graphic is a huge help as I move forward writing–allowing me to more accurately (and easily) create believable scenes.


~ by kipwkoelsch on October 4, 2017.

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