You all may have heard of Holly Lisle, she has been one of the major people putting out new how-to-write-fiction lessons and classes over the past few years. Her notecard plotting method is fairly well known. The new one that particularly caught my interest was How To Think Sideways Lesson #2: How To Discover Your Writing Sweet Spot. Mrs. Lisle doesn't want the details of her lessons explained to people who haven't purchased them, which is reasonable, especially since this lesson is like $5. But I think I can share the "Sweet Spot Map" I came up with after doing the exercise, because it doesn't give away details of how the exercise is done. So here, take a look: http://home.comcast.net/~wickeddelight/SunandshadowSweetSpotMap.jpg
That is a concept cluster map, or mind map, or whatever you want to call it, of topics that crop up in my story ideas and related places. As such it's related to the thread I posted a few weeks ago about the book Blueprint Your Blockbuster, which is about identifying themes across a manuscript/script, and I adapted to identify themes across all my stuff. That was a high level chronological pattern (chronology from beginning to end of a story, not of my writing history). This is a more detailed achronological pattern. A sweet spot map basically describes what a writer finds interesting (and can be expanded and updated basically forever). The map can be used to generate new story ideas or to try to fill a hole in an existing idea, or to figure out how an element that appeared surprisingly in your story is related to other elements in the story.
I think a game designer could use this idea to map out the game design ideas they like too.
Edited by sunandshadow, 04 April 2013 - 01:34 AM.