I’ve decided to use MindManager to brainstorm ideas and compose an outline. This choice allowed me to think about visuals as I was working through the clusters. I could simply make the “visuals” notes a different color, and they didn’t get in the way of my alphabetic sense of the text. This practice actually helped me to get a sense for the relationship between them. Because the development wasn’t linear, I could effectively (and efficiently?) put them into conversation with each other as the text outline takes shape. I wonder how this might work with other modalities?
Instead of fleshing-out that skeleton into a full-bodied text by adding clusters of full-sentences, I spoke into the voice recorder, working from the notes on the outline. As I’m recording my voice over, I’m trying a technique that’s new to me. I used to use two different methods. I would either practice and practice until I could read the text from beginning to end without a mistake, or I would record several small files, each containing a sentence or two that I could later edit in-line with the music and visual elements. This time, I tried to take advantage of the nature of the digital recording software. So I would practice reading right into the recorded file. When I messed something up or didn’t get the inflection I wanted, I just backed up a few sentences and started again. The whole file was more than 21 minutes long. (How long is the final?) Then I just went back-in to cut all the versions of the phrasings that I didn’t like, leaving one long final version. I actually like this way quite a bit. I can try muliple inflections while recording and decide later which works best with the others. I can hear things while only listening, that I couldn’t hear while reading aloud. I realize that I’m not yet really making a jump from traditional to multimodal composing practices in the sense that would take advantage of Sophie, but I am pushing the visual aspects of the composing process further, while also taking advantage of the digital nature of the MindMapping software.