I know, I know. I thought I had finished outlining, but I haven't. This is my first time trying this method to start a book, remember. I found some software that is just incredible for this task. It's called Free Mind and it's mind mapping software and, yes, it's free!
Basically, it's a mapping tool with tons of features. You can add notes to any node, highlight them, prioritize them, collapse and unfold a branch or level, identify revisions, add graphical links or hyperlinks; the list goes on. And, since I'm a new user, I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface.
Here is a screenshot:
Just click on the picture to get a larger view.
How I'm using it is on one side I've listed characters and settings on the parent level, and then description of each on the next level. Where necessary, I've added a note (like a comment in MSWord) for more detail or for jotting down notes I want to remember for later.
On the other side, I've listed the basic plot elements of a story at the parent level, which guides me to list the gist of each scene from there. Then, again, I make notes on the scenes when I know more details or where I want to go with it. I have used different text colors (and you can format the look, color, backgrounds, etc. of each node and/or each level) for my subplots. Here is a picture of my map for Picture Perfect:
Sorry, no larger version of this image. The information is highly confidential and restricted. But, you get the point. I only wish the image could show you more of the capabilities of this program. I'm not sure of the printing capabilities yet. I hope it will print it in report form including notes.
Before I go, I just want to let you know about another freeware application that I think is fabulous. It's called yWriter by SpaceJock Software. This application was written expressly for novel writing and allows you to develop each scene, characters, and more. It keeps track of your word count and lets you know how many words a day you need to write to reach your goal, it asks about the motivation and goal of each scene and whose POV the scene is. This one does print in a report manner and you can choose from various options.
Here's a screen shot:
Just thought I'd share these great applications with you. What applications do you use for your writing? Or, do you use charts, boards, stickies, or something else?
Have a great weekend,