Story Mapping with Scapple

If you saw my post during our writing month, you may already know that I’m a huge fan of Scrivener by Literature & Latte. I also mentioned using their other software, Scapple, but I didn’t elaborate fully on how I use Scapple. So today I want to remedy that.

As I embark on a mission to restructure and rewrite my current WIP, I started poking around the interwebs to see how some other writers go about plotting and mapping stories. I have several different story lines that I need to keep track of and decided where they intersect and how they impact one another. I found an article on diy MFA that is very similar to the technique I was already using. You can read the article here. Here the story map is likened to a Subway map which makes for a nice, clear visual.

I plot my stories in a similar manner. In the past I’ve taken a more tactile approach by using a white board or making index cards I can rearrange. Currently I don’t have a large wall space to use and creating the physical cards would take longer than dragging them from my Scrivener file to Scapple. In this case, digital efficiency wins. Using the same examples given in the example mentioned in the diy MFA article, I’ve created a map in Scapple.

A quick visual of the basic Scapple functions.

A quick visual of the basic Scapple functions.

For more detailed directions on how to use Scapple, see the video tutorial provided by Literature and Latte.

Hunger Games Scapple

My Scapple version using the same Story Map shown in the featured article.

I used the black and white notes to indicate plot points involving more than one story line. Dotted lines indicate that at note is sharing a plot point while the arrows indicate the actual flow of the story. Scapple is completely free-form so you can adjust this however you like. You could also use more of a vertical orientation depending on your preference.

5 Comments

  • […] I have it on my laptop and iPad and can access my work through OneDrive. It’s freeform, like Scapple, and can incorporate images, videos, and even various font styles and colors (which I find handy […]

  • […] If you saw my post during our writing month, you may already know that I'm a huge fan of Scrivener by Literature & Latte. I also mentioned using their other software, Scapple, but I didn't elab…  […]

  • Ronnie Darby says:

    Scapple has been a mainstay of my process for a long time, but since I moved to a MacBook and want to be able to work the diagrams from my iPad, I’ve moved to iThoughts. What *was* unique to Scapple was the ability to have isolated “floating” nodes. That allows TRUE mind mapping, and Scapple was the only software that could do it. Now, iThoughts also provides for the isolated floating nodes and can be used just as well as Scapple. I changed because L & L has indicated that they have no plans to make Scapple available for the iPad, while full featured iThoughts is already available and syncs with the computer version. Being able to use both the computer and iPad is most important to me. HOWEVER, iThoughts is only available for the Mac.

  • […] If you saw my post during our writing month, you may already know that I'm a huge fan of Scrivener by Literature & Latte. I also mentioned using their other software, Scapple, but I didn't elab…  […]

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