Clustering Helps Writing

Cluster Diagram“Clustering” is a type of brainstorming or pre-writing that can help give you ideas either before you start writing or when you get stuck. With this technique you can map out your thinking using circles and lines to display“branches” of your ideas or connections between your ideas.

Choose a word, for example the name of your main character. Write it down and circle it. This will be the center of your cluster. Then randomly as each new word or phrase comes to mind, circle it, and connect it with a line to the word that sparked it. It can be other characters in your story, or a physical description, or inner characteristics. Attach each word that seems like an entirely new direction to the center idea.

But don’t allow that ugly inner editor to intrude–don’t get hung up on which words connect to what. The idea is to let thoughts run quickly without editing, censoring, or worrying about proper sequence.

Try this for 3-5 minutes, like a free-writing exercise. Keep adding to it when you think of new ideas. See where it leads you in your storyline.

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Published in: on February 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting article – I am re-blogging today.

  2. Reblogged this on Mandy Eve Barnett's Official Blog and commented:
    Any idea, tip or advice regarding the creation of our narratives is always welcomed. If you have not heard of clustering before it is a type of prewriting, which explores numerous ideas as they occur. Utilizing a graph similar to the above, you choose a central word and then brainstorm ideas that arise from it. Make sure you write quickly without editing and continue until you have exhausted your thought processes. For example if your main theme is barrel racing, then logical words will automatically appear, such as horse, saddle, paddock etc. but also note words that are not so logicial to broaden the theme.

  3. great idea will use that today


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