My professional writing requires reading lots of books, reports, newspaper articles, etc. to find out what we miss and what we need in old, unsolved homicides: case analyses.
The way to absorb all the information before I can write down my thoughts, is a process all on its own.
If the case doesn’t have a lot of things to read, a few notes or a list might suffice. However, if there is a lot going on, books were written, movies were made, or various investigative organizations explored the case, etc. then I need mindmaps.
Mindmaps allow me to wander across the pages of my notebook while I try to sort my thoughts.
I write down keywords, main characters, evidence pieces, questions that pop up, to try to connect the dots.
I use this technique too when I read to write book review. It helps me follow plotlines.
The big advantage for me is questioning myself. Once I start writing, I have to ask myself why I made that connection, why I added a keyword to a person’s name, or why I think that there was something missing, etc.
What do you do when you have to absorb a good chunk of information? Do you use mindmaps?