In concluding my original Smart Writers article, I mentioned that it itself was only an overview, an introduction to something that needed to be expanded. I said that a closer examination of developing the conclusion, then the body, and finally the introduction would be something I would work on later. However, after reflecting on it for the past several months, I decided to take a different avenue before looking at those pieces. At the end of that article, I linked to another blog article I wrote that examines storyboarding. There is yet another discipline that can be a tool in quickly fleshing out a subject, whether it be a speech or a report or a novel--mind mapping. Mind mapping is to a bullet-point list what a plotted course on a map is to written directions. The advantage in both cases is that the former provides instant visualization of the relationships to the main subject.
Recently, Google Docs (“Drive”) added a new plug-in feature that allows its users to expand the functionality of docs. The plug-in that immediately caught my eye was MindMeister--an app that turns a bulleted list into a mind map. (To get the free add-on, open a word document in Google Docs; click on “Add-ons” from the menu bar; then choose “Get add-ons….” Type “mind” in the search box and hit Enter, then select and proceed with the install.)
But I have already gotten way ahead of myself. First, I need to state that my Smart Writers article needs some refining. I knew that when I posted it but I also knew it was still a good article. This was confirmed when I received a note from a graduate student expressing appreciation & stating he wished he had read the article before he found himself struggling through all the papers he had to write. There have also been a couple other appreciative expressions from business people.To keep this expanded discussion in mentally-digestible, bite-sized pieces, I decided to make this article into a series. In that way you, the reader, can have a sense of accomplishment & closure in completing each segment & have an instant mental bookmark as to where to pick up next.
This article is part of a series. Please scroll through the Index to "Inspiration For Writers."