How to Use Scapple to Quickly Plot Your Next Book

 

There are many brainstorming, plotting, bubble-like, Gantt charts, project management tools out there, but you don’t really need all the bells ’n whistles when you just want to get your next book idea out of your head and onto the page.

Scapple was developed by the same brains that created the holy grail of writing tools - Scrivener, by Literature and Latte.  There was a need for a simple and cost-effective brainstorming/plotting tool and Scapple is the result.

Brainstorm Demo

The video shows a very quick and simple way to start plotting your next novel, no matter if it’s Fiction or Non-Fiction.  It can be any genre or topic.  Simply add your ideas and then organise them later.


Video Summary

  • Scapple was created by the creators of Scrivener.
  • Anytime you have an idea, a thought or a way to mess with your characters, you can quickly and easily add it to a Scapple board.
  • Using a Scapple board and brainstorming is exactly the same type of process you would use in writing on a piece of paper and drawing lines to join your ideas together. The bonus here is you can move things around and get them more ordered.
  • Double-Click to create your 1st (first) note
  • Drag notes onto each other to make connections (joins)
  • Format your notes with borders, colours and backgrounds
  • Drag your notes to Scrivener and start writing asap!

Transcript

Scapple was created by the creators of Scrivener.

Anytime you have an idea, a thought or a way to mess with your characters, you can quickly and easily add it to a Scapple board.  Which is what I have here in front of me.  This is using the Mac version, if you’d like to see this in action on a Windows version you can check out the other video.

Using a Scapple board and brainstorming is exactly the same type of process you would use in writing on a piece of paper and drawing lines to join your ideas together. The bonus here is you can move things around and get them more ordered and you can also make them a bit pretty by changing colours and the outline of them.  You can also drag in images and you can drag in text and create multiple notes if you need to as well.

So it’s really simple, so let’s give this a go.

The instructions here are very obvious “double-click” anywhere to create a new note and drag notes onto one another to make connections. So let’s start.  So, if I'm planning out my Romance Over Coffee novel, now I can either hit escape, or I can click somewhere else to remove editing in there.  Romance Over Coffee, okay so I’m going to want some characters and I might want some locations and and then I'll have some ideas here so umm, opening scene, umm, Julie’s going to arrive for her new barrister job. Okay, so I’m going to need some characters so obviously Julie is a character and she's going to meet up with Rick and we might have Mary as the barrister owner, aah the coffee shop owner rather.

Okay now if I want to get all this looking a little bit better umm, I can move this image up here, let’s just join a few things together.  So I am going to have my Romance Over Coffee and it’s going to go over the different scenes now with this one I’d like to make this note format look a bit differently. I’m going to make it bold and a little bit larger because it’s the title of my book.  OK, Characters, I’d like to make that bold, it’s a bit more of a heading and umm, I might want to make it blue and my locations will be bold and they might be yellow that's all all over here in the inspector.  I can do quite a lot of cool stuff.  Add a background shape around these as well. So I’ll highlight them again and I'll go new background shape around the selection.  So that's now joined.

Now that's got a list of all my characters and then I’ll just add a few more items down here umm, Rick arrives for coffee and meets Julie.  Umm, Julie has a car accident on the way home. So I'm brainstorming out some ideas, but it’s looking a little bit messy.  So I might want to put some borders around things and so I might just grab these ideas here and you see you’ve got a borders section over here and it’s currently got no border.  But I’m going to make it a border and I don’t really want it black so I’ll make it a little bit lighter as a grey and, and a rounded border is fine but I could have quite a few different options.

Okay now I’m not really fussed around the order of these things at the moment umm, but that's roughly how it’s going to play out.  I might want to change the border around the Romance Over Coffee and make it jagged, umm we have to give it a border and I can make it a pretty colour if I want, make it red.  I could also change that border to be a cloud option.  So you can see how easy it is to get a really simple layout and brainstorm way.

If I just remove the Inspector here.  So View and Hide the Inspector.  Down here I now have a Zoom.  I can zoom in and out and scroll to various places I need to on the screen.  I can reset it to have it all fit to the screen for me.  Now with Scapple its really groovy that you can umm, you can duplicate notes you can move things around you can print them out umm, but you can also drag them over to Scrivener.  Re-zoom this, and I can drag them into the binder.  Here we go.  So here are my 3 items.  So you can see how quickly and simply you can brainstorm into here and it doesn’t even a matter what order these are in cause once you're in Scrivener you can just move them around if you need to as well and and away you go and you’re writing your story.

So there you go, it is quite a cheap option are only US 14.99 are at the moment umm from literature and latte, the link’s just down below, and it’s, I mean if you want to brainstorm and you want to do it quickly and simply it’s pretty awesome.  Try it out!

 

If You Need Scapple In Your Life

Where To Buy
Pop on over the Literature and Latte and you can get an overview of Scapple and the options to purchase for MacOS or Windows.
 
At the time of writing this post, the Desktop versions are US$14.99 and a little less for Students PLUS they have a Free Trial so you can try it out.
 
I am affiliated with this product and receive a small remuneration if you choose to purchase

 
If you have any questions about Scapple or other Tech Tools you’d like to read more about, please drop me a comment below.
 
Happy Plotting and Happy Writing!

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