Using Mind Mapping to Write Fiction or Nonfiction

Hello Fellow Readers and Writers–

Well, I’m beginning a new book today.  It’s nonfiction, this time– How to Write a Mystery Without Plotting It to Death.  It will be all about what you do before to actually start writing your mystery novel.  It goes through the process I use to write my books.

I’ve mind mapped everything I want to cover, so I have a non-linear “outline” of what I intend to say.  That’s how I work best.  Now I just take each section and begin writing about it.  Simple–and so much less work than plodding through and doing a “real” outline.  I just put the title in the center circle, and then branch off into other circles that will eventually become my chapter headings.  From those sub-circles, I branch off to remind myself of important things I want to cover.

One of the chapters will deal with mind mapping in a mystery novel.  I always mind map my victim:  Who is she/he?  Why would someone want her/him dead?  My sub-circles are four or five suspects, along with their motives, means and opportunity.  By doing this, I can have the cops point the finger at the wrong person, while the real villain thinks he’s getting away with murder.  Then, of course, my sleuth realizes the police are wrong, and she tries to prove why, and show them who really did the deed.

Try mind mapping in your own writing–fiction or nonfiction–especially if you’ve tried the traditional outlining, and it didn’t work for you.   (You can see examples of what it looks like with a Google search.)  I use a huge piece of paper, or my dry-erase board to play with ideas.  I also use colored markers, just to make it even more fun.

Well, I have to get to work on the book.  Meanwhile, Happy Reading and Writing to You All,



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