You have to know the radicals in order to make a story that put all together: the components of the characters and the pronunciation (initials, finals and tones). I made a little variation: adding a color to state the tones. For memorizing the radical there are already some really cool course here on memrise.
I found useful reading: http://hanziwallchart.tumblr.com/post/98716860008/processing-phase-a-introduction.
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