“Tech geek question, but what program did you use to make the schematic?”
Zengobi’s Curio. HUGE fan of Curio, I use it constantly. Unfortunately only for Mac and not yet on the iPad. Must go harass them about that. Curio does ten thousand things, and the website does a good job of telling you all about them. I use it for about as many things, but when it comes to writing, I have two Curio files for each book: Notes and Collage (aka Visual Notes).
The notes are the big deal. I doodle on graph paper, but when I get any kind of grasp at all, I go to Curio because I can type in notes and then move them around (huge failing for graph paper). Plus I can color code them, change the colors with a click, add photos and drawings and anything else I can drag and drop on a computer. And all my notes are in one place, like a huge file folder of goodness:
See that list to the left? That’s my list of sections: First Act, Second Act, Character Arcs, etc. See the little gray triangles to the left of the list? If I drag a page on top of another page, they stack: Look at the fifth one down; see how there are six pages under that? When I click that arrow, they fold up into the top page so I don’t have to scroll through dozens of pages and I can keep similar pages together. Then look at the top of the window to the right: See that square with the arrow pointing up that’s labeled “Share”? If I click on that, it gives me the option to export either a single page as Text, RTF, HTML, Image, or PDF, OR to print or mail it. If I pick Image, it gives me the choice of JPG, PNG, or PDF. And I can also choose to export the whole magillah as any of those, so I could have PDF of the entire project. And the choices within the program are vast and varied. Any color, and font that’s on my computer, any line width, it’s all customizable. There’s even a graph paper background (be still my heart) that you can customize so that the graph is any spacing in any color, with snapping or without.
After that, the collage is easy. I manipulate the images in Acorn because Curio isn’t a graphics program, but then I usually drop them into Curio because it organizes everything for me, so instead of having pieces of collage all over my hard drive, they’re all in one Curio Folder:
It’s a shame it’s only for Macs, but if you have a Mac, you really should invest. It’s second only to Word in my Essential Programs list (and Acorn pretty much comes right after that as a great, cheap, easy graphics program).