Mind Map

17th August 2021
2 min read
5th January 2022

Explore your mind in this writing exercise from Linda Strachan's Guide to Writing for Children & YA 

Guide to Writing for Children & YA

Take a single word and put it in the middle of a blank sheet of paper.

Underline it.

From that word, draw a line out and write another word or a phrase, anything that might relate to the word in any way.

Keep doing this until you can’t think of any more. Some of the words might spark off ideas of their own so they in turn would get lines from them to other words and so on.

Step away and look back at the words.

A character or a story might come from the juxtaposition of words: for example, what would happen with a zebra and an elephant that come across a horse that really wanted to be a unicorn, or perhaps thinks he is?

Try your own mind map and see what ideas it generates.




Linda Strachan is the author of over 70 books. She writes for a wide range from picture books to Young Adult novels. These include the bestselling Hamish McHaggis series and award-winning Spider, Dead Boy Talking and Don’t Judge Me. Linda is a former Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland and an experienced creative writing tutor.

Writing stage