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Mind Mapping

October 13th, 2017

First, thanks to Lucy for last week’s blog. When you’ve spent so much time working on a book and getting your ‘baby’ ready to publish, you can sometimes forget that unless you market it properly, it won’t get the audience it deserves and that’s the last thing you need! So, read Lucy’s tips and follow the links she provides as they really do give you some useful information.

This week I’m going to concentrate on some advice that one of our Writers Bureau students, Geeta Vittal Rao, wanted to share with you. In addition to working on our course she is also studying with the Self-Publishing School and one of the aids to writing that they suggest is Mind Mapping. This is how she describes it:

“They ask us to first do a mind map for the idea, which in this case was for a book. Pencil and paper work best for this. From the centre one has many lines radiating out, each being a thought related to the main idea. No matter how far fetched it is. The mind map is basically a ‘brain dump’ where one writes down everything possible that’s related to the main idea. It’s a creative process – and looks messy but it’s essential to really dive in and do this. That’s because we will think of things that we would never have thought of if we just began writing on a blank page.

So we do a mind map for the whole book, and from there create an outline. The outline is basically grouping similar ideas from the mind map putting them together. When they’re all written one below the other one can begin to divide the outline into sections. Sections can then be divided into chapters.

But that’s not all. For each chapter outline that we have, when we actually go to write each chapter, we do the whole 3-step process again. Create a mind map, to go deeper and capture ideas that were not covered in such depth before (because after all, the first mind map was for the entire book!)

I really found that when I created an outline for each chapter this way, I was never intimidated by the blank screen. All that was needed was to look at the outline and expand on each point. Chapter done!

This is how I wrote the first draft of a 21,000-word book in 75 days, working 45 minutes to an hour each day. I know it’s not the fastest, but the method helped immensely.

One last thing is to set a timer for each mind map and outline process. My SPS course recommends 12 minutes for each and I was able to do it in 10-12 for each chapter. (In fact, they recommend setting a timer for every time one sits down to write. )

Just wanted to share the best nuggets with you so as to help even more people.”

I think that’s a great suggestion, Geeta, and thanks for passing it on.

Now on to a couple of competitions. First, don’t forget that the Writers Bureau Flash Fiction Competition is accepting entries until 30th November. It’s £5 for a single entry or £10 for three. Prizes are: 1st – £300, 2nd – £200 and 3rd – £100 plus all winners receive a Writers Bureau Course of their choice.

And so that those of you who love poetry have something to do, here are details of the Kent and Sussex Open Poetry Competition. Prizes are: 1st – £1000, 2nd – £300, 3rd – £100 plus 4 x £50. It costs £5 per poem to enter or £4 each for three or more poems and the closing date isn’t until 31st January 2018.

My guest next week is Writers Bureau tutor Colin Bulman who will be sharing some thoughts on character creation.

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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