The Novel: Update #18 – Getting Derailed, Planning a Mind-Map

My novel, Tabula, had to take a back-seat for the last week or two due to my day job. Along with other projects, recreational activities, exercise, fun, laughter, joy, and sanity.


I am the red under your bed

Long story short: when companies cut costs by under-resourcing their office and underpaying their freelancers, they invite chaos. Then, if they happen to be a shitty company, they deal with this chaos by yelling at people and demanding unpaid labour from their already overworked staff. I worked unpaid all Sunday this last weekend – when I was supposed to be writing my novel then swimming in a river – and I will never do it again. This is how corporations turn us into glorified slaves, and I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid after that first bitter sip.


*Rant over*

Doing What I Can

So, almost nothing has been done on the novel in two weeks, except for some character notes. I actually feel pretty damn victorious that I got anything done! Looking back over those notes I found an unconscious self-accusation in the description of a less-than-admirable character, which just happens to be a pretty precise description of me:

“Physical Description: white; 5’8”; stocky, turning to fat; 32 yrs old; green eyes”

Planning a Mind-Mapping Session

The best thing to come out of this enforced break was simply the chance to step back from my novel. Doing this made me realise that I’m less sure how all the threads in my story weave together than I was before. The same day I started to mildly panic about this, I read a post from fellow aspiring writer A. B. Guy that gave me a great idea. A. B. wrote that “I realised I was in danger of my story going haywire. So, this week, I’ve been reverting to the outline, adding sub-points to it to keep me on track” and included these photos.



That got me thinking. My entire story outline only exists in text documents and in my head. I’ve never visualised or mapped it, which is probably a mistake for a story with a lot of characters, multiple locations, and a lot of backstories, history, and causal relationships. So, this weekend I’m going to be smoothing out some butcher’s paper on my kitchen floor, pouring a glass of wine, and mapping out Tabula!

This will likely involve more than a few sheets of paper and probably some actual map-making!

And yes, there will be pics (or it never happened)

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