In Episode 1, THE STORY SKELETON: How To Organize Your Ideas & Get Writing, I discuss the importance and usefulness of creating a story skeleton by identifying, categorizing, and then organizing ideas.
The resulting skeleton arms you with a roadmap that keeps you on course and helps to minimize blocks and anxiety. Having that surety going forward lets you focus on efficiently creating effective content.
The first step in the skeleton creation process is the Info Dump: identifying every important aspect that you will need to include in what you are planning on writing.
Randomly list every aspect and topic that you feel needs to be part of the writing project. Just throw out and write down everything you feel needs to be included without worrying about ordering your ideas at this point.
Information that you should consider listing includes
- Topics and sub-topics: What are the main topics and sub-topics that the writing needs to focus on? These topic identifiers will play an essential role later on in the Topic Organization process.
- People, Places, and Situations: Are there people, places or situations that are essential or significant who need to be mentioned?
- Important Points: Are there key points that need to be addressed in building your argument or supporting your points?
- Steps in a Process: If the writing is part of a step-based process (recipes, assembly directions, user guides, etc.), ensure you identify and list every step.
- Data, Anecdotes, and Examples: Are there important statistics that you plan on using? List any pertinent examples or anecdotes that you’ll want to include, and source them.
- Quotes: Make a list of essential quotes that you plan on including. When transcribing them, remember to correctly source the quote just as you would with data, anecdotes, and examples.
Remember that the main point of this first step is to simply get all the ideas out and get the process started. Don’t worry about any kind of idea organization or clustering as that will come after this first step is complete.
I’ll be looking at that process in an upcoming article, STEP 2 (Pt. A): BUILDING THE SKELETON: ASSIGNING AND ORDERING TOPICS.
For more on the Info Dump process, watch Episode 1: THE STORY SKELETON How To Organize Your Ideas & Get Writing.