Ideas for Using Scapple

Don’t let Scapple’s blank page intimidate you. It’s your
canvas for anything.
So, ideas…I could list the usual projects: Timelines,
family trees, brainstorming, story mapping, etc. But what more can we do?
Timelines: Scapple is a simpler version of the Aeon
Timeline app. If you don’t
need all the detail from Aeon, then Scapple is a great way to create a simple
timeline for the book, series, epic, poem, whatever. It’s easy to make, adjust,
and add to without all the restrictions of structure that Aeon has.
Beyond Timelines: Instead of a timeline, create a
character arc. Show the ebb and flow of your characters’ growth over the length of the story/series. Use multiple characters
on one page to check and see if they are growing together or apart. I find it a
useful way to correct my “everything is happening at once” problem. I can see where
I need to space things out, give each character their spotlight, and find the
stupid plot holes, I mean, self-correct plot holes.
Family Trees: Got a series? Map those names and dates
to make sure you’ve got
everyone covered. Included all details. So when you throw in long-lost cousin
Zed, you know who he is and where he fits in the family.
Beyond Family Trees: Create a family tree with super
detail to chronicle more than names. Add dates of important events, settings,
locations, secret babies, treasure maps—wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Add
to tidbits to make not only the tree but a story bible. You can include things
like family traits—physical (blue eyes), 
personality-wise (stubborn like your Aunt Josephine.), genetic
anomalies, inheritance, and more.
Brainstorming: With the non-structured nature of
Scapple, you can throw boxes all over the place to brainstorm a new project.
The boxes are easy to move around to solidify plot ideas and character
Beyond Brainstorming: You can map out an entire
series with Scapple. The program doesn’t limit your space to the screen size. You can plan an
entire series and have the flexibility of adding, removing, and rearranging
elements. Instead of deleting ideas that don’t work, toss them in the corner to
use later. Color, font, and shape elements can differentiate ideas, thoughts,
and random facts.
Story Maps: Similar to brainstorming, mapping is easy
in Scapple. Create a template using story beats, or plot devices. (As a romance
author, I’m thinking Goal,
Motivation, Conflict
by Debra Dixon and Romancing the Beat by Gwen
Hayes.) Use the template each time you map out a new plot to keep the story on
Beyond Story Mapping: Make a setting map. Make elaborate
connections to your locations by creating a house plan, a travel plan, or a
treasure map. If you’re
writing fantasy, here’s an excellent way to visualize your tale with delicious
details. I’m one of those readers who loves a map in a book. In fact, I find
them useful in all sorts of books from romance to horror.
Map Your Career: Go beyond just writing. Map out your
marketing plan, brainstorm a social media platform, plan pages for your
The only limits
for the use of Scapple is you, and well, your ability to scan the Internet for
more ideas. LOL

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