I’ve mentioned it before and I will repeat it again here. I LOVE my Apple iPad and all the apps that are created for use on it. I can’t begin to tell you how integral it has become in assisting me to capture what I am thinking anywhere at any time. It’s truly made a world of difference to the way in which I find myself expressing my creativity.
Although I have been writing for decades I only decided to start publishing my newly written works in the latter part of my life. My background in information technology has had me exposed to a diverse range of software application suites. I stumbled across Mindjet for mind mapping almost ten years ago and found the way mind mapping tools are structured I could apply it across a number of different aspects within my professional and personal life.
Examples: Project Management, Business Plans, Brain Storming Ideas, Financial Plan … the list is inexhaustible.
When I set out to write Illuminarium – Book One in the Soliloquy’s Labyrinth series I did some research and trialed a few of the mind mapping app’s specifically developed for use on my iPad. The primary one I use is called Total recall.
Looking at the above diagram you can get the general jist of the plot mapping that I utilize. Starting with the book title Illuminarium I branch off into various categories and then break them further down into subcategories. I color code them purely to make it easier for me to identify the separate branch relationships. The shapes are also something I use to quickly identify the key characters versus the other characters who hold a role of lesser proportion within the novel but are still valued enough to be called out.
In this section, you can see that I have branched off to cover concepts that I listed to explore as part of the plot development of the book. I like to separate the ideas by fact versus fiction. I’m a creative creature with some fantastical concepts that will go off on tangents that are seemingly unrelated to the plot of a story. Placing them here assists me to look at how I can bind some or all of the elements into a storyline that flows smoothly while keeping readers engaged the entire time.
I think it is probably important at this point to call out that what I am sharing with you is what I like to do. It isn’t something you need to execute in order to write a book. I just find the tool really useful to pull what is a mish mosh of swill in my mind out on my iPad screen in a format that I feel comfortable using.
My suggestion is that you become aware of all the fabulous tools that are out there. Pick a few, experiment until you find what you are looking for and then adopt your own style of use.
When I write almost everything I place on paper holds purpose and meaning. Character names are no exception to this. I research the names available in the country, era I am writing within. As a first pass, I tend to select the names I feel drawn to. Then I research to see what comes up when I google the suggested names. Once I am satisfied that there is little to no relevant connection to my developing character I execute a final selection of the name by the meaning behind their name. It all needs to tie in and hold purpose. Call it a quirk of mine.
Blessings – Truth