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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