Three-Step Book Outlining Method

2. Mind mapping lessons

How to Brainstorm – Solo

First, the top priority of brainstorming is quantity over quality. The more you can get out of your head and have a look at, the easier it will be to decide what’s spot on to your target reader needs, and what isn’t.

Third-Party View

Ask a question that gets you to think from a third party perspective, e.g. If I was SUN TZU, how would I construct my book’s thesis?

Case Study:

Sun Tzu, a leader in 500BC wrote the book, The Art Of War, is the most influential strategy text in all of East Asia. It is divided into 13 chapters, each dedicated to a different aspect of warfare. The reason it’s been so popular this long is that most of the lessons can be translated directly to other competitive fields, like business or sports.

Look at the power of the first chapter… Lesson 1: Only enter battles you know you can win. Strategic fighters enter a battle knowing how they can win it from the get go.

Sun Tzu did not have the luxury of a billion Internet pages or encyclopaedias. His was a study of great warriors, one assumes.

What lessons can you observe from your embattled clients, prospects, patrons, or students?

Starbursting: Another technique

Starbursting challenges you to come up with as many questions as you can about your topic. This one is easier with a buddy.

Begin by listing questions that deal with the who, what, where, when, and why. 

Branding topic: What features do winning brands have? How much time to spend on my brand? Where is a personal brand needed? Who does a personal brand suit? And so on.

(Source: Wrike.com and MindTools).

GET STARTED TODAY – Write out 20 book thesis ideas.

Then take the best 1-2 book thesis ideas… get out your client/student observations or — after spying a little on typical online group questions — think up some reader-perspective questions.

Then, move on to the mind mapping step.