Clustering Exercise

Through my university degree I have been developing lots of skills and techniques for planning novels and stories of all kinds. This week we have covered Clustering. Like mind mapping clustering is usually done by hand on paper (I personally love to do big bold colours and make it pretty) but can also be done on computer software – something I am not terribly good with and so will focus on paper today.


Clustering is very easy to do much like mind mapping and allows you to get ideas for stories and develop them through key words and word associations. Start off with a simple phrase or key word that is going to feature in your story and build on from there! Once you have written down some words that go with your original phrase, add some words that link directly to the new words.

Ideas can link together through this word association even if you didn’t think of them matching before as they can all be included in the one story, or they can lead to multiple stories it’s completely up to you!

Some ideas to get you started:

  1. Swing seat on the grass
  2. White picket fence
  3. Run down fort
  4. Moss covered cottage
  5. Toadstools by the river
  6. Chalk art in an alley
  7. Dusty cowboy boots
  8. A broken window
  9. Washed up rowing boat
  10. Toy soldiers left in the mud

I’ll be having a go with these ideas too but let me know what you can come up with! I would love to read any ideas or stories you have 🙂

Do you do exercises like this? What planning techniques do you use?


3 thoughts on “Clustering Exercise

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