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Visual Thinking & The Writing Process

I delivered this presentation at the Canadian Association of Journalists "Innovate News" conference in Toronto, ON on January 30, 2010. The topic was "Visual Thinking and the Writing Process" and looks at visual techniques that writers could use in brainstorming, gathering information and developing their stories.

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Visual Thinking & The Writing Process

  1. Visual Thinking & the Writing Process<br />CAJ Conference - January 30, 2010 | Loremipsum dolor sit amet, consecteturadipiscingelit. Vestibulum in dui nectellusmattisadipiscing. Quisquevulputateultricesmollis. Aliquamsempermolestiefermentum. Proiniaculis, magna facilisisegestasaliquet, ante tortorvestibulum dui, ut dictum nisl ante sedfelis. Loremipsum dolor sit amet, consecteturadipiscingelit. Vestibulummattisjustoeununcvenenatismollis. Cras ac turpis vitae dolor vestibulumaliquet in vel dui. Duisplacerat, augue non interdumimperdiet, nisleliteleifenddiam, sit ametvulputate nisi loremeueros. Praesentturpis quam, lobortis at molestievel, adipiscing ac est. Praesentutmetusvenenatisliberofermentumplacerat. Morbivelnibh quam. Quisqueipsum lacus, nec, tincidunt a dui Ryan Coleman.<br />Nam porttitorvelit at Vestibulumelitarcu, pretiumutaliquamsed, Nuncluctus tempus interdum. Vivamusluctusmetus et risusposuerepellentesque. Suspendissepotenti. Praesenteleifendhendreritenim, ac semperorciegestasnec. Maecenas et mauris at enimadipiscinghendrerit<br />
  2. Nam porttitorvelit at felisaccumsan lorem Chief Community Evangelist. Tincidunt abi Vestibulum elitarcu, @ VizThink utrecht dom aliquamsed, pharetravelnulla. Nuncluctustempus luctuser metuset risus al po posuerepellentesque. Suspendissepotenti. PraesentInformation Designer enim, acru semperorci. Maecenas et mauris at enimadipiscinghendreritplacerat at magna. Cras sit ametdiamjusto. Quisque id dolor id nibh Facilitator m tincidunt. Nunc magna ipsum, laoreet et suscipiteu, tempus id lacus. Maecenas egestasrisus vitae sapienposueretempor. Quisquesapienturpis, elementumsedegestas at, imperdiet ac lacus. Morbi in purusleo, vitae interdumleo. Nam mattis, nullasedconsecteturblandit, massaodioeuismodjusto, vitae commodo ante loremvel est. Nullagravidafermentummassa, egetfacilisiserosiaculis et. Nulla nisi nulla, imperdietsedtemportristique, sagittis sit ameteros. Pellentesque habitant morbitristiquesenectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpisegestas. Suspendisseegeterat nisi, sit ametpharetra lacus.<br />Quisquefermentumlectus non metusdapibus in tempus magna pretium. Aliquameratvolutpat. Pellentesquefacilisisconguetellus, ac euismod magna sodales sed. Praesent id tellus nisi. Sedfermentumrisus a lorem dictum pretium. Nam sit ametmaurisvehiculaauguemolestieornarevel ac sem. Nullamassaerat, hendreritvelpulvinarultricies, tristique et erat. Utsedscelerisqueneque. In arcudiam, dignissim sit amettristique sit amet, dignissimsedorci. In ultriciesodio sit ametturpisfacilisis a gravidanislvenenatis. Nullamegetleoerat, vitae adipiscinglibero. Aliquamquisfeugiat quam. Nuncconsequat, ipsumutpulvinarpretium, odiosemmolestienunc, quisvolutpatjustoenim id sem. Praesentutmassa dolor, egetdapibus quam. Pellentesquedignissimvenenatisnibh, semperdignissim dolor ornarenec. Curabitur id urna magna.<br />Me.<br />
  3. Nuncaccumsanmetusbibendumvelitlobortisvestibulumquissedtortor. Cum sociisnatoquepenatibus et magnisdis parturient montes, nasceturridiculus mus. Duis magna orci, gravida a dictum ac, vulputatevellibero. Suspendisseelementum, lacus vitae ornarerhoncus, semaugueposuerenibh, in adipiscingurnaipsumeulectus. Nullam mi augue, dignissim id cursusconsectetur, lobortisuteros. Morbi in odiovelsapienfringillaelementum non velvelit. Sedtristiqueturpisuttortorpulvinar ac dictum loremsodales. Nam auctormolestiemetuseupretium. Vivamussollicitudin, ipsumdignissimpretium tempus, quam diamultricieseros, sit ametluctusmaurismassa non arcu. Vestibulum vitae esttortor, ac rutrum magna. Sedmattisligulalaoreettortortinciduntvelaliquamnequeplacerat. Aliquamrisuslectus, bibendum et imperdiet vitae, mollis vitae est.<br />What is Visual Thinking?<br />Sketch: Dave Gray via Flickr<br />Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet!<br />Nuncaccumsanmetusbibendumvelitlobortisvestibulumquissedtortor. Cum sociisnatoquepenatibus et magnisdis parturient montes, nasceturridiculus mus. Duis magna orci, gravida a dictum ac, vulputatevellibero. Suspendisseelementum, lacus vitae ornarerhoncus, semaugueposuerenibh, in adipiscingurnaipsumeuLorem ipsum dolor sit amet<br />
  4. How Can it Help?<br />As journalists you take fragments of information and find ways to convey complexity in an understandable form…<br />Photo: Matt Callow via Flickr<br />
  5. How Can it Help?<br />…visual thinking can help you become more effective at that process.<br />Photo: Matt Callow via Flickr<br />
  6. Dig through these?<br />Photo: Lidal-K via Flickr<br />
  7. Or Reference This?<br />Information all on one page, can easily be referenced & updated as you go<br />
  8. Who here is sitting there thinking “But I can’t draw?”<br />
  9. It’s not about finished artwork<br />
  10. It’s about getting away from the linear flow of your word processor<br />
  11. Tools<br />
  12. Writing Method<br />LIST<br />OUTLINE<br />DRAFT<br />PUBLISH<br />fact<br />idea<br />Loremidea dolor fact met, consectfact event elit. Phasellusaliquamidea fact, ac fringillanisl event in. Pellentesquefact factsodalestincidunt. Idea.<br />event<br />idea<br />fact<br />fact<br />event<br />fact<br />event<br />event<br />fact<br />idea<br />idea<br />event<br />idea<br />idea<br />fact<br />fact<br />fact<br />event<br />Source: Marks & Meaning (V.0) by Dave Gray<br />
  13. Visual Method<br />ARTIFACTS<br />MODEL<br />REFINE<br />DISPLAY<br />Inspired by: Marks & Meaning (V.0) by Dave Gray | Sketch: carey.chiaia | Illustration: Dougbelshaw<br />
  14. Loremidea dolor fact met, consectfact event elit. Phasellusaliquamidea fact, ac fringillanisl event in. Pellentesquefact factsodalestincidunt. Idea.<br />idea<br />event<br />fact<br />fact<br />event<br />idea<br />event<br />fact<br />idea<br />fact<br />fact<br />event<br />event<br />LIST<br />OUTLINE<br />DRAFT<br />PUBLISH<br />event<br />ARTIFACTS<br />MODEL<br />REFINE<br />DISPLAY<br />fact<br />idea<br />idea<br />idea<br />fact<br />fact<br />The process is actually quite similar – and in the early stages there’s no reason you can’t start at one and move to the other.<br />
  15. A Visual “Alphabet”<br />The basic elements of the visual alphabet are really quite simple.<br />
  16. Simplify<br />But you can create almost anything with them.<br />
  17. Create Artifacts<br />Post-its, Index cards, paper. Make physical artifacts that you can see, touch and reference<br />
  18. Get Physical<br />Get up, move around, shuffle the artifacts to see what happens<br />
  19. See the whole picture<br />Lay everything out where you can see it, physically move yourself to view it from different angles. What structures or relationships can you see now?<br />
  20. Methods<br />
  21. MindMapping<br />
  22. Maps<br />A map can very quickly convey the necessary information. Writing the same notion out could take many, many words words<br />Sketch: Kevin Steinhardt<br />
  23. Timeline<br />Give your notes context and a timeframe, show how the events relate and effect each other.<br />Sketch: Chance Projects<br />
  24. Comparison Table<br />Quickly summarize the differences between two or more things. Can be referenced very quickly<br />Sketch: Doug Belshaw<br />
  25. Clustering<br />Discover patterns and relationships in your artifacts. Move them into clusters or categories based on their common ties<br />
  26. Models / Systems<br />How do elements related to each other?<br />
  27. Delivery / Publishing<br />Watch for opportunities to tell your stories with visuals that complement your text<br />Photo: divinemissn<br />
  28. My Own Process<br />
  29. List / Artifacts<br />
  30. Outline / Model<br />
  31. Draft / Refining<br />
  32. Publish / Delivery<br />
  33. Visual Thinking resources, VizThnkU online courses, free webinars and workshops, local communities<br /><br />
  34. Questions?<br />Thanks for your time!<br />I’ll post slides & links to resources at:<br /><br />Ryan Coleman <br /><br />Twitter: @ryancoleman<br />CC: Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike<br />