John McPhee’s essay “Progression” in The New Yorker http://byliner.com/john-mcphee/stories/progression takes an interesting look at the process of writing. At one point, McPhee expressed the structure of a piece he planned to write as an equation, ABC/D, in which A B and C are different people who share some common connection, D. As far as equations go, this is probably just my speed (there’s a reason I’m in publishing and not physics) though I also liked Alain de Botton’s quasi-scientific formulations in On Love and other books.
I know authors who create the writerly equivalents of flowcharts, who doodle “idea webs” on legal pads before they sit down to write. I know of a couple’s therapist whose methodology relies on simple line drawings. When planning your own projects, do you rely on some actual, visible process of diagramming?