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CB&S, Nomad Novelist Writers Group, Writing

Mapping my mind…

Following on from my post about stationary I’m about to dive head first into the world of plotting.  I’m not a big plotter I’ve always been a ‘seat of you pants’ writer, but seeing as I keep getting stuck something must change.  I always resolve to change my methods but never do, so time for a change!

My fellow Nomad, Jock pointed me to one of his previous blog posts about using story mapping to identify you weaknesses in plots and settings,, and although this is a method he uses in retrospect it got me wondering if there was anything out there for me, to get me thinking about where I want my novel to go.

I remembered a picture I’d downloaded, I can’t remember the initial source, about JK Rowling’s book map for the Order of the Phoenix and looking at it now it’s a layout I can relate too.

The planning’s of a masterpiece


Below JK talks about planning, if a little cagey about showing it, courtesy of The Leaky Cauldron.

I can use different columns for the different threads and ensure that my supporting characters also get their threads tied too.  I also plan to add a different dimension to my work and this is a great way to keep track of that extra layer.

It may seem a simple idea, but I’m really hoping it will help merge all the ideas and wishes, and place them into one big picture – on flip chart paper using different coloured pens!

I’ll keep you updated of my progress.

A quote from Shakespeare – I wonder if he ever made a story map?


About Natalie James

I'm an air force wife. I've been with my husband since 2006 and married since 2009. He's been in the air force since 2002, so it's all I've known. Whilst we've been together he's been to Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm writing a fictional book on the trials and tribulations of being an air force girlfriend. One day I’m hoping I’ll get it day.


5 thoughts on “Mapping my mind…

  1. Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much.

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    Posted by Writer Jobs | July 18, 2012, 01:44
  2. Hey Nat – great blog! You’re right that i do use this mapping in retrospect but I’m also an absolutely paranoid planner. I always think that it is so much easier to get somewhere if you know where it is that you’re going. Even having just thought through your entire plot in advance, means that when you come across a sticking point – you know how you will deal with it and can power on through, rather than sitting with ‘writers block’ trying to work out where to go next when your fingers want to type!!

    I don’t always stick to it 100% – things have to change of course – but when i do make changes, having a clear plan allows me to plot how each change will affect everything else and so i don’t get caught out 😉

    Good luck and i hope it goes well 😉

    Posted by James Law (@Mightyjock) | July 18, 2012, 08:44
  3. Hey Jock, Thanks for popping by! I know the ending of my novel and various points I want to hit along the way but it’s the journey to those points I need to work out. I think it’s the making changes that are daunting and knowing the knock on effect that it will have!
    Thanks for the luck xxx

    Posted by Natalie James | July 18, 2012, 19:19
  4. Great post. I’m a plotter, but so far my plotting has been done as a line per scene, broken into chapters. I love the idea of the chart. I think I might use it for my next plotting session.

    Happy plotting! 🙂

    Posted by crimethrillergirl | July 18, 2012, 20:33

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