Creative mind mapping example: developing characters

A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. – TONY BUZAN

I use them in all aspects of personal and project planning.

For example,



Organizing massive amounts of research, drawings and additional information for my illustrated true crime analysis can seem insurmountable at times.  But mind mapping is THE BEST TOOL for my process.   It’s all about taking felt pens to paper and working non-linearly.  It helps me see the big picture, facilitate ah ha! moments, take a look at the case from all angles.

I can use mind mapping to organize the multiple timelines:


To organize the story structure:

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And it is PERFECT for character development.  For example, my main character’s brother:


Mind mapping this character not only helps me see the unfolding of Joseph’s life, but facilitates me to make connections and develop insights into the story that I know I would miss if I only worked linearly.  And I keep adding notes to them.  They evolve as they need to.

Adding visuals (either drawings or photos/collage) not only connects me more deeply to the mind map, and creates a more pleasing map; taking the time to create visuals on your mind map cleanses the mind of racing thoughts, taps into both the right and left hemisphere’s of my brain and expands the mind mapping process.



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