Warning: the following post gives a detailed look at the workings of the gabi brain and these methods may not be suitable for all writers.
The truth is, I'm a visual thinker not a verbal one, which is probably a bit strange for a writer. In a former life, I was a product designer and a lot of my design training tends to inform my approach to writing.
I'm also a native New Yorker, born and raised and still living in the city. My love for this city also informs my writing, despite the fact that I have yet to write anything that's actually set in NYC.
My visual approach to writing has merged with my New York mindset and lately, I have found myself outlining in the form of subway maps. The basic idea is that subway lines represent story threads and the "stops" on the subway line represent individual scenes. In some outlines, I have several threads that intersect and come full circle (like the BAX outline above). In other situations, I might have two separate lines that run parallel but come together in some key points (like my very early outline of my WIP).
In addition, I also make charts to go with my subway outlines, in which I detail what happens at each of the "stops." In particular, these charts include the following information about each scene:
- Important Events
- Purpose (or "Why am I writing this scene anyway?")