What you have above is the inner workings of our collective mind. Hmm. Step away, and be grateful you can. We’ve just had to get closer and closer to the swiggles and arrows, to comb them out and smooth out their relationship to each other. Which reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s description at the beginning of Slaughterhouse 5 of how he writes plot:
I used my daughter’s crayons, a different colour for each main character. One end of the wall paper was the beginning of the story, and the other end was the end, and then there was all that middle part, which was the middle. And the blue line met the red line and then the yellow line and the yellow line stopped because the character represented by the yellow line was dead. And so on.
Which in turn reminded me of this arch Vonnegut explanation of writing stories. He makes it seem so simple. Which of course is how you want it to appear. So perhaps foolish of me to reveal the minds-map. Especially as it may only serve to confuse: the characters you may be able to read of here, if you squint, do not appear like this in the story. Like all people they’ve changed in some way, certainly they do not entirely represent their early incarnations.
Let’s take the purple line, called Clown in the above. No longer. Nor is the ‘she’ ‘he’ ‘we’ idea we sketched out. Instead we have a fluid character call Tib, who might (you’ll have to follow the story trail) carry all the elements of he/she/we. Tib is also the name of a river in Manchester. Once a river, then a sewer, next… ?