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,

CREATIVE MIND MAPPING FOR CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

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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:

BRAID THEORY

To organize the story structure:

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

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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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CREATIVE MIND MAPPING

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Mind maps integrate both right-brain and left-brain thinking by capturing your stream of consciousness in a structured way. – Jennifer Lee

CREATIVE MIND MAPPING 

Mind maps are essentially visual diagrams.  They can act as a type of journal or personal exploration, or a tool for strategic inquiry or project planning.  The possibilities are vast and endless.  You will find that mind maps are a way to envision and put into practice your intention.  This intention is thereby transformed into fruition.  The process is not just an idealistic visualization but an actualization.

Mind mapping is about strategic inquiry.

Mind mapping is VISUAL STORYTELLING.

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For me, mind mapping is a tool to move all the churning ideas and voices out of my head onto paper in order to organize my thoughts and to quiet my mind.  I gain perspective; I can start to strategize and prioritize or make new realizations and connections.  I can develop, or pare down.  I gain new insight on what direction works, what direction doesn’t, what I can cross off, what I can add.

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I love the visual.  I love the tangible.  I love the evolving mind map.  I love looking at old ones and seeing what worked and what didn’t.  Mind maps allow me to create a mission and a vision statement more easily.

MIND MAPPING is how I formulated my personal mission statement:

My mission is to awaken creative expression through local and global art initiatives.”

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I use mind maps for:

• emotional exploration

• project planning

• priority assessment

• anxiety processing

• gathering support

• story structure

• character development

• journaling

• mission and vision building

• creative strategic inquiry

• graphic recording

• meeting notes

• deep listening

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MIND MAP FOR CREATING THE BOOK: DRAWN TOGETHER

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Mind maps can help you become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively. – Melanie Pinola