Still Alive, Still Writing…

I’m sure there are writers out there that took full advantage of the various lockdowns and time spent at home during the pandemic to live their best lives and produce pagecounts the likes of which they may never reach again.

I did not.

I have, however, been thinking about Redzone and other story ideas the entire time. The mindmap / outline I have for the book has been under constant revision. The story I want to tell feels fully formed in my head, but when I put it on paper (or the digital mindmap version of it), I can see holes and spots that just don’t make sense yet. So, it’s back to the lab again, yo.

Using a mindmap is one of my favorite ways to brainstorm. I can basically blurt out ideas as nodes and then rearrange them according to time or other relationships at will. The trouble with the mindmap is that it makes it hard to see everything (or at least relevant bits) all at once without scrolling all over the canvas. As my mindmap grew to an unwieldy size, I knew I needed another tool (cuz it wasn’t going to be my brain). Enter JK Rowling’s Grid method.

I’ve started translating the storylines I’ve been piecing together in my mindmap into the cells of an excel spreadsheet using JK’s method (or as close as I can approximate). The exercise is proving very fruitful – I can see the concurrent timelines of my various characters and track the various subplots all at a glance. It’s a relief, really.

But now I’ve got to re-write.

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