A Process Map Flow Chart Is Often Used As Mind Mapping for Creating Characters

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Mind Mapping for Creating Characters

Whether you think using flow charts, whiteboards, or even free association, mind mapping has been around for a while. People have used it for note taking, brainstorming and problem solving. A mind map is a tool used to visually organize information or ideas. As a writer, it can be used to resolve writer’s block or create a workable outline. Today I’m going to show you how to make a character sketch.

Character drawings can be very basic or incredibly detailed. This can include eye and hair color or blood type and your hero’s first kiss. Many writers go online and find pre-made character sketches that include hundreds of questions that may not apply to your work. This is where the idea of ​​a mind map comes in handy.

For those who are not familiar with the process, don’t worry, creating a mind map is not complicated. This can be done on a piece of paper, a whiteboard, or using a software program. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Several free programs will work great, including xmind.net, mindmaple.com, and freemind.sourceforge.net. Some of these programs have paid versions, but as a writer, the free version will do everything you need.

There are 4 basic steps to creating a mind map on any topic.

1st step – Start by writing a single concept in the center of a blank page.

Step 2 – Add ideas related to this concept and use lines to connect them.

Step 3 – Expand on each of these ideas and branch out to create new ideas.

Step 4 – Use different colors, symbols and images to make each branch unique.

I will use one of my own characters as an example to help visualize this process. Each character you create will be different, but it will be much easier if you use these points as a starting point.

My starting point is always specific. I use my character’s name and a photo of what he or she will look like. Why should I add a photo? Because as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Personally, I put the name and photo in the center of the page in a red circle like a bullseye.

I add new ideas to focus on my character. Each idea is placed in its own circle and connected by a wavy line. Why the wavy line? Because straight lines are boring and analytical, I’m trying to tap into the creative side of my brain. I’ll also use a different color for each circle and the line connecting it, for the same reason.

I focus on six main points with each character. These include family, friends, work, skills, physical and secrets. At this point, it can be difficult to come up with a picture for each category, but you can use symbols like question marks for that section. the secrets

This is where the fun begins. Under each main point listed, I include 5 additional sub-ideas. For example, under Family, I would list Mother, Father, Siblings, Other, and History. Each of these will also have its own circle, and I’ll color that circle the same color as the primary idea family.

This won’t work for me, I can already hear someone saying that my character’s parents are dead or that my character is an orphan. So? This is just to spark ideas. If the mother is dead, this will remind you of her and be a memory for your character to think about. If she doesn’t, you can describe what she liked or disliked most about her.

The same idea applies to siblings, if he has them, he can tell stories about when his brother did this or when his sister did this. If he never had one, did he ever wonder what it would be like to have a brother or sister?

You may wonder why I included the word other. Whether your character’s parents are alive or not, someone else had a major influence on his life at some point. They can be babysitters, scout leaders or teachers. All of us are created by the people we interact with.

Who was the black sheep in the family, were all the women in the family short, were there always anger issues? These are things that the character may not even realize affect his (or her) way of thinking.

I could write an entire article about how your character’s family affects their behavior or thinking or beliefs. It’s a kind of mind map, you can go as deep as you want. By keeping it simple, (one word at a time) it lets your mind fill in the blanks. Don’t believe me? Just say the word mother out loud and see what images and thoughts pop into your head.

Most of the categories I’ve listed are obvious, but I want to take a moment to talk about the secrets. Every person on the planet has them, and if you think you can create a character without them, you are sadly mistaken. It could be as simple as they didn’t learn to swim or as dramatic as they killed their own sister. This is also a good place to incorporate habits. For example, if you write Taps, it might remind you that he always taps his fingers when he’s nervous. If you write the word ring, you will know that she twirls her ring when she is upset. You don’t have to write the whole reason why she turned her ring, just write the words to get your imagination going.

Important points to remember:

First point – Easy to keep. One word at a time. You’re not writing a story you’re capturing ideas to incorporate into the story.

Second point – Use color. Bright, vibrant colors stimulate the mind. The more stimulated the mind, the easier it is to be creative.

Third Point – Use curved lines to connect thoughts. why Because if only straight lines are used, the brain gets bored quickly.

Fourth Point – Add images whenever possible. why Because a picture is worth a thousand words, 10 pictures are worth ten thousand words. By using a word and an image, you engage both sides of the brain without limiting your abilities.

Once you start using mind mapping to write, ideas will flow one after the other. It’s really hard to have writer’s block if the ideas are coming so fast that you can’t keep up. It may not solve all your writing problems, but it will make things easier.

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