We are very glad to present you another guest post from one of our users, Donna Reish
She currently works with kids at an art school and will tell us a bit about their experience with Mindomo and Mind mapping.
Here it goes:
As a writing instructor at an art school, my students regularly tell me how hard it is for them to come up with a story. They have ideas and characters and scenes in their minds, but have a hard way of connecting everything to create a sequence of events. Coming up with an idea for a story is simple, but building that story into a cohesive narrative is something else entirely.
It’s important to realize that stories all stem from an idea that will vary from writer to writer. I always start with a relationship, then build the characters around the relationship, then the world they live in, and take it from there. One of my colleagues always sees a vivid image in his mind and builds his stories around that. Others may build their stories around a single character, setting, or event that they find interesting. When creating a story in our minds, we rarely start with the very first thing that occurs in a linear narrative. Through a mind map, you are able to make a note of all of your story elements as they come to you in a non-linear way.
A mind map created on Mindomo Desktop is a great place to start. I’ve found that Mindomo makes it easy for you to not only create a helpful mind map, but to share it with others, organize it for optimal use and further expand on your ideas.
When thinking of the central topic for your mind map, you can simply title it “My Story” or “To Be Determined.” If you already have a title, feel free to label it with that and change it when necessary.
Here are some recommended primary branches that should stem out of your central topic:
Characters. Here you’ll want to include your story’s main characters as you create them in your mind. Each character lead to individual branches that include some traits (which you can branch into weaknesses and strengths), what the character wants, and what obstacles they face. Well-drawn characters may need their own separate mind maps as you add more details and depth to them.
World. Here you can create the details of the setting of your story. Where does it take place? When does it take place? If your story has fantastical or science fiction elements, it will also be important to add branches explaining the rules of the world. An example of a rule is a story, where vampires must sleep in coffins during the day or die in sunlight. Establishing the rules of your world helps you to build your characters as well as your story’s plot, and will create the stakes that will keep your story’s audience invested.
Major Events. Here are examples of major events in The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy gets swept up in a tornado and arrives in the land of Oz. Dorothy meets the Scarecrow. Dorothy meets the Tin Man. Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion. Dorothy and friends meet Oz and see him for what he actually is. And so on and so on. From every event, you can add branches that add more details or draw arrows that connect certain events to certain characters.
Themes. Many times when I’m building a story I want to tell, I begin to think of the larger picture. What is the message I am hoping to send with the story? Do the characters and events represent or symbolize something else? What are motifs or recurring concepts that I can use throughout? Because you may not be able to answer these questions or make these connections until your story is complete, you can add them to your mind map so that you can always refer to them later.
The benefit of your Mindomo mind map is that you are free to add or remove branches as your story takes shape. The story’s final product rarely resembles the first idea that you came up with, so I recommend making multiple mind maps during the process. Whether you’re writing a novel, a screenplay or a video game, a mind map is an excellent way to get all of your ideas in one place and connect them to create the story you want to tell.
Donna Reish, a freelancer who blogs about best universities, contributed this guest post. She loves to write education, career, frugal living, finance, health, parenting relating articles. She can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.