In recent weeks I have been looking for some different tools to help me work out some of the funky parts of my current writing project. This book is my second but it’s really the first of a series, so there’s a lot to keep straight.
In my research I found Mural.ly, which is described as a visual collaboration. For me, it’s an online bulletin board, you can drop in websites, photos and audio. You can add notes, pins and arrows to connect different elements.
I made up a sort of sample board to show here.
We’ve recently started watching the show Castle and I thought it would be fun to use it here.
You can zoom in and out easily, leaving this large overview or focusing on specific parts of the board.
I used different areas of the board to separate my different sections. I dropped pictures in of the characters along with their names, I could add a sticky note with more info or stickers to highlight something or someone. I put a chapter (episode list) in the middle that I could draw lines and arrows to connect characters and events to a specific chapter.
I like using family trees and floor plans to keep track of my characters and where the action is happening.
I dropped in a family tree of the British royal family rather than building my own. It was a bit quicker and only a few of the Castle characters are related so it would be a small family tree.
For the floorplan, I’ve used a sticky note along with some lines and arrows to label and tie things together.
On the board for my work-in-progress I have my characters, floor plans, a family tree, a section of sticky notes for the mystery subplot, a section for my chapter flow and an area with notes for things that needed to be added or changed. It’s great to have everything on the same board, rather than here and there or photos in a file that I have to pull up. I can’t wait to get a second monitor so that I can keep Mural.ly up while I am writing.
In some future posts I will discuss some other tools that I use to help me keep track of things.