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Creative Writing on a Tablet PC

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I can't get there from here

mind mapI’m an unruly writer. It’s all about throwing stuff at the virtual wall, seeing what sticks, then moving and massaging it to see if I can’t make something pretty. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But finally, about a year ago, I realized the ever-shifting rearview mirror view of my trilogy was always just out of view, so I needed to get a better handle on it. So I began investigating, and settled on mind mapping using MindManager Pro 7. For two reasons – one, I’d heard raves about MindManager Pro 7, and two, MindManger Pro & fully supported ink on the tablet PC. Two great tastes that taste great together.

What did I find out?

  • Mind mapping on a tablet is just awesome…easy, intuitive, and for the most part, the interface gets out of the way. Bravo
  • A visual view does have it’s benefits as it makes it easier to see the big picture.
  • Forcing an unruly brain to behave is difficult, but enhanced by mind mapping
  • I need to incorporate it into my short story writing
  • Electronic maps beat the hell out of their paperbound brethren
  • MindManager Pro 7 uses the cool Office 2007 interface, for familiarity and ease of use
  • Mind mapping only works if you use it (yeah, I did mean that)

Okay, confession. I’ve barely used the software in a year. Not because I don’t find it a pretty stunning tool, but because old habits die hard. As I sit with my mother here in the hospital, I’m going to create maps for my current projects, just to see how things are playing out. I’ve got three short stories in process and a program I’ve begun the preliminary work on…all of these things could benefit from a dominatrix-like adherence to good thought processes. Or something like that.

P.S. Another program I investigate was designed for the novelist, had some COOL features, but required too much work and time to get it working the way I wanted it to work…it’s been a couple years since I tried it, so more later .


Aoibheall said...

It's no fair to say "another program I investigated" without naming it!

archiwiz said...

I agree with aoibheall!!!

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.