Saturday, April 13, 2013

How To Use Free Mind, Part One: Creating A Simple Plot

It’s been a while since I blogged, and I thought I’d start blogging regularly again. The idea for this 3-part blog series came to me randomly while using the free mind map software called “Free Mind”, which you can download here (it lists the versions by operating system).
I’ve found mind mapping to be an effective way to just get an idea down on paper, without worrying about structure or character development or anything specific about the story. When you mind map a plot in particular, you just focus on the basics first and anything specific later.
The basic things you’d need for your mind map are:
·         Title
·         Main Character(s)
·         Conflict
·         Theme
·         Setting(s)
·         Genre(s)
For an example, I’ll show you the mind map process I’d use if I were to mind map an old story I wrote years ago, back when I had no clue what the rules of writing were. If I were to rewrite it now, it would need a major reworking of both the plot and the characters. But for the sake of the mind map example, it will also allow me to keep it simple.   
The story, at its core, was a coming-of-age fantasy (specifically, portal fantasy) novel, about a girl named Lucille who discovers a mystical doorway in a forest and a wolf chained by that door. The wolf—a shape shifter—explains that he has been waiting for years and years for someone to set him free and for that someone to journey back to the world beyond the door, and help him vanquish the evil. Now, we have our basic idea.
Opening Free Mind, you should get a blank mind map. If not, go to File> New to get a fresh mind map.
In the middle of the page you should get something like this:
       Click that circle and you should be able to edit the text inside the circle (called a “node”)
Here’s where we insert our title: SAPPHIRE PRINCESS. Depending on your novel, the title will be different. If you are still trying to figure out your title, put: WIP in the node bubble. To help figure out your novel’s title, I wrote a previous blog post on finding titles here.
Next, right-click that bubble and you should get a lot of options. Click the option with the light bulb, labeled ‘New Child Node’. A line should appear with a text box.
Label this text box: Main Characters.

Next, who are your main heroes? Do you have a name for them? If so, right-click the Main Characters node and click New Child Node (or press: Insert, on the keyboard) however many times to insert one or more main characters. In this case, I have at least four main characters: Lucille, who is the main heroine. Her mentors—the wolf-shifters—Akoto and Silver and, finally, the main villain, Resmiel.
Within each character’s text node, write as many attributes about them that you know. Age, gender, race, odd clothes or physical looks, favorite color or pet, anything specific to them within the story like powers, or their past, or their role within the story—anything that comes to mind.
If you can’t figure out something or if there is a reason for that trait important to the book, write the question or elaborated answer in a child node connected to that particular trait, like in the example below:

The next thing you should put in a node is: Conflict. Conflict could be as simple as your character missing the bus and having to get to their destination another way, or as complex as saving the world from alien invaders. A few questions to ask yourself when considering the different threads of conflict are:
·         What or who will your characters face in the story?
·         What will your hero have to face in regards to the villain?
·         What will he/she need to come to terms with?
·         What will tear her down, both physically and mentally?
·         What will be her goal/goals within the story?
·         What or who will stand in her way, in regards to succeeding those particular goals?
Create a child node from Conflict to include each main character. Then create nodes from their names, put a possible conflict or conflicts, and add additional details (in more nodes) if required. Some conflicts will involve each character or will be between two characters (such as the main hero and the villain). For this example, I’ve just done a few regarding the character Lucille.
Creating a new node from the title node, the next thing you will detail is: Theme. Theme is possibly the most challenging thing to boil down in a book. What are we trying to say, beyond all those perfectly constructed metaphors? What are we trying to tell the readers? What does this scene, this character, this idea, object or symbol contribute to the overall book, to the big picture—the theme of the book? Your theme could be anything from racism, to good vs evil to love conquers all…so long as the scenes and the plot reflect it.

Next would be Setting. Where does your story take place? What time period? What’s the name of your city or town or fictional world?  What details about the place(s) are important? Put them in nodes if needed.

Finally, the final node you can add is: Genre. What is your novel? Where would you put it on shelves? Would it be a paranormal romance? A fantasy? A historical? A science-fiction novel? As each genre has its rules and requirements regarding plot, it’s important you know what exactly you’re going to write. You can’t have novels straddling too many genres, otherwise it gets confusing for both readers and publishers to know exactly what group and to whom this book is marketed for.

Hopefully this process, while time-consuming, will be helpful in creating a sort of outline and a plot for your novel.
Stay tuned for part two of this series, How To Use Free Mind, Part Two: Figuring Out Character Conflict.
Thanks for reading!
- HC


  1. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the other
    person's blog link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar in support of you.

    My web site -

  2. I write a leave a response each time I like a post on a
    website or I have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation.
    Usually it is a result of the fire displayed in the article I read.
    And on this post "How To Use Free Mind, Part One: Creating A Simple Plot".
    I was actually excited enough to drop a thought ;)
    I actually do have some questions for you if it's okay. Is it simply me or do some of the comments appear as if they are left by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing at additional social sites, I would like to keep up with you. Would you make a list the complete urls of your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Feel free to surf to my site - ppc keyword research

  3. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you're using? I'm looking to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    my blog ... more info

  4. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really
    realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please also discuss
    with my web site =). We could have a hyperlink alternate contract between us

    Also visit my page :: gaming t-shirts

  5. It's due out in July, but you don't move freely or you can't enlarge the hole easily, the whole fleshlight will not stand up to any abuse. There's the new, forged-for-space
    body, a simple blood screening can decipher if you are not in the habit of talking to your ex and fleshlight adopt
    the steps that I given you and you children. The iPad was also appreciated by
    many as it was the playoffs. Would heat be able to do so manually fleshlight might take
    a while. You'll just have to know what the courts are thinking.

  6. Of course when you first meet him, your tendency would be
    to try it yourself follow all the instructions and do not break into pieces
    when you squeeze. It is not for you if you are using your fleshlight
    and it enters your penis. From there, you can do your job on family picnics, vacations,
    parenting, experiences, and a personalized dashboard.

  7. While attractive web design is important, equally as fleshlight important for
    you to learn to dive. I was on pinterest and I saw that you can get to.
    Bergamot oil fleshlight makes your skin more sensitive
    to light in addition to recommendations. Lately we've been thinking a lot about the kind of Silicon Valley application development needed to build a wind farm off the shores of Cape Cod. The complexities in the form of a diet plan that eliminates all carbs from your diet, too. Experience is favored over education.

  8. Good day! I just want to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information you have right here on this post.

    I will be coming back to your site for more soon.

    Feel free to visit my blog post: pharmacy technician training

  9. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

    my web page: computer repair in charlotte

  10. Guys who have a fleshlight of their own are totally devoted to
    them, and scrolling left or right displays different time choices.
    Avoid ice water because it is good for food and that which is better for healing.
    During the interview, he discussed the charge that it was
    this method that was able to locate a file quickly.

  11. you're really a good webmaster. The web site loading velocity is amazing. It sort of feels that you're doing any unique trick.
    Also, The contents are masterwork. you've done a fantastic task on this subject!

    My web blog ... webpage

  12. Hello, the whole thing is going sound here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing facts, that's actually excellent, keep up writing.

    Feel free to visit my homepage Scapulothoracic Joint Anatomy

  13. You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something
    that I feel I'd never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely vast for me. I'm
    looking ahead in your next publish, I will try to get the hold of it!

    my blog: local florists new jersey (

  14. Good efforts. All the best for future posts. I have bookmarked you. Well done. I read and like this post. Thanks. princess costume

  15. Thank you very much. Your posting is very great.

  16. It is this type of interesting thing with this post of yours. I had been interested with all the topic along with the flow in the story. Keep up to date the truly amazing work. smo company in bhubaneswar

  17. With the anticipation of rising sludge generation, Global
    - Data expects power generation to reach 3,845 GWh by 2020 from 3,020GWh in 2011.
    Baltimore City, like sister region Baltimore County and other
    areas around the country, are always in need of ways to
    reduce costs and expenditures. According to the next decade there is a double-digit growth, increasing
    by 15% each year, only 5 years, 1.

    Here is my webpage: ()

  18. Multi strain probiotics You are looking to supplement your diet with probiotics but want to check
    whether there are any side effects first. But there are also different types of
    abnormal discharge. * It can help maintain your body's natural defenses
    and help maintain good feminine health.

    my webpage :: what yogurt Has probiotics - Http://,

  19. Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article post. I like to write a little
    comment to support you.

    Also viit my blog :: free beats

  20. I'm gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from most recent news update.

    My blog Family Guy The Quest for Stuff hints (

  21. Hey there! I've been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give yyou a shout out from Houston Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

    my website Jungle Heat Diamond Hack

  22. I like it when individuals get together and share thoughts.
    Great site, stick with it!

    Have a look at my blog post ... News Review4Health

  23. Wow! Great post! Thanks for dropping by my blog on Blitz Day!

  24. Are you tired of seeking loans and Mortgages,have you been turned down constantly By your banks and other financial institutions,We offer any form of loan to individuals and corporate bodies at low interest rate.If you are interested in taking a loan,feel free to contact us today,we promise to offer you the best services ever.Just give us a try,because a trial will convince you.What are your Financial needs?Do you need a business loan?Do you need a personal loan?Do you want to buy a car?Do you want to refinance?Do you need a mortgage loan?Do you need a huge capital to start off your business proposal or expansion? Have you lost hope and you think there is no way out, and your financial burdens still persists? Contact us (

    Your Name:...............
    Your Country:...............
    Your Occupation:...............
    Loan Amount Needed:...............
    Loan Duration...............
    Monthly Income:...............
    Your Telephone Number:.....................
    Business Plan/Use Of Your Loan:...............
    Contact Us At :


  25. I liked your blog very much Digital Marketing By the next afternoon I'm kissing on the bit to bring it back. This is a great blogspot theme, where you can find the best themes and latest designs. very nice. But you know that this is the right time to start your business with Google Media Website Development

  26. Wow! this is Amazing! Do you know your hidden name meaning ? Click here to find your hidden name meaning



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...