Melding of Minds

When there is no writing, then it’s time to write, yeah?

That was me last night.  The novel was in the can, so to speak, and up for sale.  No more to do there, so what’s next?  As someone may say to me, “Shouldn’t you be writing?”

I’ve spoke about doing this erotic fantasy story just for laughs–and money, don’t forget the money–so I figured, what the hell, might as well get my project started.  That meant firing up the Big Scrivener and setting up the story.  I do this all the time; it’s become second nature for me.

Therefor the project was created, the story named, and . . . well, this is where it gets to be fun.  Most of the time I’ll start plotting things out just a bit.  By “plotting” I mean I set up chapter cards and put some meta data on each card to give me an idea as to what’s going to happen at that point in the story.  It’s not like I’m deciding at that point what’s going to happen right down to the moment, but it’s a good way to figure out the main focus of the scene.

This time, though, I wanted to try something else.  With one of the recent updates of Scrivener came the ability to import mind maps into your project.  I’ve played with FreeMind, which is a great mind mapping tool, and I like using it to see if my ideas for a story–or, like the first time I used it, for a new chapter–are going to work, or if they’re way off base.

A few weeks back I decided to map out Fantasies in Harmony because I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to make any sense.  So I did a couple of hours of thinking through what I wanted to in the story, and mapped the action out.  When I was finished I had a story, more or less, in mind mapped metadata.

Given that I had a mind map, and given that I could import that into Scrivener, I was curious to see what would happen.  I mean, if it didn’t work out well, I could always delete stuff.  So I found the Import option, selected Mind Map to import, and hit the Okay button–

All sorts of stuff appeared in the document:  lots of note cards with nothing written inside.  I was a bit confused, so I deleted everything and tried it again, getting the same results.  I’m expecting to see the visual map in my document, and here I’m getting all these note cards–

That’s when it hit me:  every card corresponded to an idea I’d placed in my mind map.  When I imported the map, Scrivener broke out every idea and turned them into their own scene–so now, if I wanted to elaborate on those ideas, all I had to do was write up what actually happened.

I’d just opened up a whole new world of possibilities for doing my stories.

All those notes have been moved under the scenes I was creating.  Given how Scrivener compiles scenes, I could actually write everything in short scenes and put it all together in the compile.  Which I’m considering doing–

Hey, I can have my fun while writing, can’t I?