G is for … Ground Plan
April 7, 2012
First of all, I’m also over at Rena Traxel’s blog today, in an interview about my “other life” as a hymn lyricist. Please check it out!
Now, back to Ground Plan. No, I haven’t suddenly switched to landscaping terminology.
A ground plan is a drawing of a theatrical stage as viewed from above. A set designer uses such a plan to work out where to place all the necessary elements of the stage set prior to building the set and physically dragging the furniture around.
This blog post from the Vermont Stage Company gives a fascinating look at how set/scenic designer and director work together using ground plan, mock-up scale model, blocked-out rehearsal space, and finally set design in the theatre itself, to make a play come to life.
A ground plan is a useful tool in writing, as well. It isn’t as necessary in a stand-alone picture book, but it can be very helpful when writing a novel or series of novels, so that the writer can keep track of the layout of major buildings, such as the main character’s home or school or place of work. It can be used to map out a town, real or fictional. Some authors include such ground plans in their books, often as maps of a new world in a fantasy, or the street plan of a fictitious town or city.
I have mapped out an entire English village on a bend in the Thames where no village exists. It won’t find its way into any of my books, but it’s a helpful tool for me, as either major or minor characters from a middle grade series and two unrelated adult novels that I’m writing all make their home in my fictional village.
Have you ever used a Ground Plan or some equivalent in your writing?