Yesterday we had a class with writer Francine Brevetti who is here to teach a series of lectures called “Write Your Life Stories Now”. I took yesterdays class which was about preparing to write. Since I am a budding writer myself, I thought it would be interesting to hear what Francine’s ideas were.
I sort of fell into writing by accident with no college training so there isn’t a whole lot of structure to my “preparing to write”. I take notes and sometimes put then into an outline. However Francine’s idea was much better than mine! And it was something I was already familiar with, I had just never applied it to writing.
Ever heard of mind mapping? It’s a simple process that can really open up your mind to gather ideas for whatever it is that you’re writing about. You start with one idea and expand from that to form clusters. For example we were supposed to be writing something about our life in the class so I started simply with “Vegas” as my main idea (where I lived from ages 1-3). You can see in the photo above that Vegas is the center of the mind map. And then you just go from there…for instance I remember the family dog, Pepper, went missing when we lived there (so sad), watching cartoons in the morning before Dad watched football, spending time with my grandparents and then eventually moving away to California when I was three. Then from those pieces of information you can start mapping out even more details.
Mind mapping allows so much more freedom than just a traditional outline. I’m so glad that I went to Francine’s class actually because I never thought to use it for writing! But I definitely will from now on.
To learn more about Francine, visit her website at francinebrevetti.com.