This blog post aims to introduce you to the concept of mind mapping, which is a really helpful tool to use if you are ever stuck on working out details of character or setting in particular.
Simply put, mind maps are a way of tracking and organising information. They can also be really useful in developing ideas and helping you keep track of ideas for your piece of writing. They are especially useful when it comes to writing fiction of any kind.
You begin by writing your central concept in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. This concept could be a character, or perhaps a setting. You then draw arrows outwards from this central block, with each arrow leading to a different sub-concept of your central concept. For example, if you are exploring character, sub-concepts could include appearance and motivations, to name just a couple. See the drawing below for a very basic example of a character-based mind map.
Try creating mind maps for:
- Character. Consider the following points which I have included in my example above: Appearance, beliefs, motivations, likes/dislikes, backstory, thoughts on other characters. What other sub-concepts can you add? You could even add sub-sub-concepts if you wish!
- Setting. Where is your story set? Consider: location, weather, appearance, history of your setting. Or, if you are writing a piece of fiction set in the past, use a mind map to explore the ways in which your historical setting differs from your own present.
This has just been a very brief introduction to mind-mapping, but I hope it proves a useful concept. It can be a really good way to get your ideas out onto paper, and perhaps work through any writers’ block that you might be having. Even if you ultimately don’t use the ideas you came up with in your original mind map, it will still have proved a handy starting point. Let me know how you get on!
By Ned Vessey, Blog Co-Ordinator
Read this blog post on the Spellbinder Medium here.