I know we all work in different ways, but I’m highly visual, and now working on a fourth novel, I found that I simply can’t keep all of the twists and turns and motivations in my head, or I can’t sleep at night. Some readers may recognize the word “perseverating”, and what it will do to you. It’s a nightmare for authors.
Over the years, I’ve learned to commit almost everything….but, especially stump points….to a picture. In the past, plain old mind maps have had to be the way. The Miro whiteboard is a boon to my style.
There are two screenshots below….the broad overall plot line, but also a current problem. Late in the novel, my protagonist finds out that he’s unwittingly been working in parallel with the FBI/CIA, and I need plausible reasons for him not to be angry, and to continue on the case.
First, I make a picture of the motivations I’ve considered so far. Then, I go chop wood, rake leaves, sleep, shop, do woodworking…..almost anything that’s unrelated to the writing process. I’ve never been disappointed. The solution always emerges, when I allow it to go to the great universe...and, it comes at the most unusual of times, in the most unusual of places. I’m not worried. Miro has simply put this process on steroids. I have a picture in front of me when I’m working on the story, and a single image that travels along with me when I’m doing other things, instead of countless pieces flying about in all directions.
The current hurdle to overcome