Fast Writing and Mind Maps

Some people promote the idea of “fast writing” where one writes as quickly as one can, not worrying about editing or typos, or even providing attributions to dialogue. The concept is to get the ideas down quickly and in an uninhibited fashion. Done afterwards is the cleanup, filling in details, editing, correcting, and applying of the other aspects of the writing craft. If you are interested, you can research the topic on the Internet.

I experimented with these fast writing suggestions and found the methods described did not work for me. I realized I do my own form of fast writing. I use a software tool called FreeMind to mind map my ideas. This is where I do my fast writing. I create nodes of my ideas then explore each node by expanding with subnodes. I can move nodes around, edit, change, play, go wild. Once I have entered my ideas, I copy the mind map and paste it into a document, which creates an outline. With my outline in place, I start filling in the details as I write the narrative. This method works well for me.

The following mind map is of the current chapter. The outline from this map translated into 13 pages of single spaced text. As I write the details, things will change as the story muse and the characters reveal new information, but I have a framework for holding everything together. This is fun.

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