There are as many different ways of making a mind map as there are creative people in the world, but the basics are the same. Write the main idea in the center of the page and circle it. Now make branches from the circle and write one topic on each of those lines. Continue breaking off subtopics from each of those branches, creating what looks like a web across the page. Like this:
For example, say you wanted to use a mind map to brainstorm the world of your story, you might start with the name of your story as the center. Then your branches might be: Technology, Food, Geography, Clothing, etc. For each of those branches then you would break down the subtopics into more detail. This example revolved around world building but you can use mind mapping to brainstorm just about any aspect of your story.
Some tips for making an effective mind map:
- Use markers or colored pens to color-code.
- Try not to judge your ideas as you draw the map.
- Don't be afraid to make it messy.
- Turn the page around and look at the idea from different angles.
- If possible, use unlined paper, to allow your ideas to flow in all directions.
Today's Task: Mind map something. Doesn't matter what it is. It can be your grocery list, if that's what's on your mind right this minute.
In terms of discussion, I'd love to know: did the mind map help you gain insights on your topic that you might not have gained with a traditional outline? Did it help you see your topic from a new perspective?