I’m working on a new novel outline and as I was working on the characters, and getting all these terrific ideas and scenes, it occurred to me to mind map as I developed the outline.
There’s always so much going on in your head when you’re outlining that it’s easy to forget some of these great ideas – and how characters relate to one another. Answer: Start a mind map and keep adding to it as your outline evolves.
A Juxtaposition of Programs
I’ve used mind mapping before: once when I was active with an online marketing website and again when I was given a blank notebook and the only thing I could think to use it for was to mind map.
The notebook is great as I now mind map a great many things:
How we make choices in life
Redesigning my life
Even journaling ideas
I enjoy using mind map programs online and have personally used Bubbl.us (not an affiliate). I’ve recently become aware of Google’s MindMap which has a Chrome extension that I’m curious about because I use Google email and Drive extensively. I’m going to check that out.
But as a writer, and I’m sure you can relate, there’s nothing like pen and paper (or whiteboard and markers) to really get the ideas flowing. I’ll take pictures of my whiteboard before erasing (deleting?) so I always can go back. But my notebook preserves these as I go, which has become my go-to more and more.
Is Mind Mapping an Outline Redundant?
I’m not sure about this because it’s the first time I’m trying it and will update this with another post down the road.
Like I’ve said, I have so much going on with my new outline that I need some way to have a convenient reference for these big ticket items like characters, setting (which I haven’t even started yet), and likely even scenes so that those ones that are foreshadowed are correctly linked to one another.
I will say that I’m already keeping the page from my mind map notebook open beside me as I go through my outline program and, so far anyway, it’s proving useful as new, bigger ideas come up about my characters.
What about you? Have you mind mapped before and has that worked for you? And specifically, have you mind mapped as you’ve outlined your book? I’d really like to hear about any successes or even ideas you might have about this. Thanks.