Today’s Link: http://www.spacejock.com.au/PlottingANovel.html
There are several different kinds of clustering. Simon Haynes (Spacejock Software) has a great system for going from 1-3 sentences to a full novel outline using FreeMind. FreeMind is a really great mindmapping program, and the best part is that it’s free. There are fancier programs out there, if you want to pay for them, but FreeMind has worked for everything I’ve wanted to do. It has a lot of different symbols for marking things and you can color code everything if you like to do that (and I do). I love mindmapping and clustering because it allows me to come up with something visual to match my thoughts. I find it really handy to be able to see things laid out like that. It also helps me to spot gaps in things that I’ve already planned. I used this method for last year’s NaNoWriMo to go from a nebulous idea in my head to an outline that made me comfortable to start writing. I still had some things at the end that weren’t completely worked out, but I was okay with not knowing exactly how everything worked out, as long as I knew how I was getting to the end.
I’m going to try my hardest not to link to Spacejock Software too many times this month, but he has a lot of great information on his site, and I love his yWriter program. You can also download his first Hal Spacejock novel for free.