I personally cannot *stand* graphic organizers. They're the annoying webs and boxes and arrows designed to help with organizing essays and whatnot. In school, especially in elementary school, I was bombarded with them. Even in 8th grade, we're required to fill out graphic organizers for a good deal of our essays. Try fitting a complex thought into a little line or box. It's not easy. It's even harder to try to continue on that thought after dumbing it down. The things kill creativity.
I prefer just to start writing, to get all my ideas down before shaping them, or just use my slightly obsessive head to properly arrange things beforehand. And if I'm having trouble writing, outlining is great. It has somewhat of the same function as the graphic organizers, but allows for more flexibility and expansion of details.
How do you guys write? It would be really helpful to hear what others say about how they organize their thoughts.
Augh, I HATE graphic organizers. I always have to wrestle with them and they never make sense.
In general, I usually just start running, boom, go. I'll almost always go back and rearrange things so they make sense, but organizers and outlines and things just distract me. I might jot down certain points I want to talk about, though, and scribble down notes as I think of them. I don't spend much time prewriting unless it's in my head.
I write by sitting in front of a desk, working for about an hour, and producing something that is at least passable on the first try. If it is an essay for school, I will turn it in immediately, while I will attempt to go back and edit a short story as much as possible.
For school, I've noticed that the key to writing a good essay is using large words and keeping the sentences flowing nicely. Especially in subjects that are not literature, this can work really well. When turning in a lab assignment for my Biology class, I used this message to do the write up, and I got extra points for a conclusion that went something like this:
"This lab directly applied to the subject we are currently studying. Because we analyzed the social properties of mammals in order to identify them, we were able to understand more of the process leading up to the classification of said animals."
Which is, basically, if you noticed: "Our section involved identifying animals and we did that."
I usually just start writing and get my ideas down on paper the way I first thought of them. Then I go back correct grammer mistakes, and change/expand on certain ideas. I hate using outlines or graphic organizers, but graphic organizers the most. Mostly because I rarely use anything but complete sentences and so fitting everything on one line just doesn't work for me. Outlines, I don't like because when I do them in school my teachers want them set up a certain way and then I get paranoid about the setup. It gets very frusterating.
UGH! GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS ARE SO NOT WIN! I like to think about my writing, write a few things down, and then just go ahead and write. I suppose I fix and add things as I go along. I also get into a groove. I like to write in first person and in the present tense. It just makes my stories so much more interesting.
Mostly I outline my ideas. It's simple, easy to read, and easy to modify. Also, I don't feel like I'm boiling my ideas down into generic crap that's easily organized. I HATED those graphic organizers!!!!