Quick note, sometimes scribbling like the image above has helped me think up some okay ideas. Odd isn’t it.
So brainstorming, let’s talk. What is it? Well Google says it’s a group creativity technique. Now i don’t know about you, but i am a lone writer lol! But brainstorming is generally something we do as a writer, or in fact anyone who has an idea – You hash it out. Throw all your ideas on paper or a word document and get it all off your chest. Your idea starts with one thing, then you expand it by adding multiple ideas and then hopefully.. Hopefully you might just come with something solid.
But how does it work with writing, and why is it important?
Firstly, it’s important because not all of our ideas as a writer are going to be the right idea. It’s truth and you can accept that or don’t accept that, but we’ve all had this fantastic idea and forced it out into being bigger than what it was – Thus ending with it being trashed. It’s happened to me a lot, i get a story idea think its a cool concept, think its the one until i brain storm. Once you brain storm something and eventually piece together the cluster fuck of ideas into some particularly solid, it should be in that moment if you know you can stretch it into something bigger. Does your story idea only remain as a short story, or could this be something bigger? Novel? Reverse that. Is your novel idea really going to cut it as a novel or is it better off a short story. Even so, it really doesn’t mean you fail as a creative. Things are meant to be and some aren’t, that’s life. We are creatives and no doubt in an hour another idea might pop into our heads.
But that’s why brainstorming is important, its our truth. It helps us not only decide the potential of a story but whether it has any potential at all.
My basic brain storming process is kinda something i would do at school if the teachers told us to brain storm and come up with some shit. I get my main idea written dead centre on a piece of paper, circle it, then write down all my surrounding ideas. At this point, its important to not focus on one specific thing about your idea (Like location) Focus on every little thing that pops into your head when you look at what your centre words are. Get all that shit out. I’ll add a picture to help.
This is just a basic idea, but you’ll end up with a lot more than this. Ranging from the weather type, to the the setting.
Then you’ll take a look at your individual words and expand on them.. So let’s take one of the words and expand. See picture >
Then eventually flushing it out and linking all your ideas somehow together.
Once you’ve hit the jackpot with your ideas and remember, it doesn’t need to be on one piece of paper or document. But anyway, you should have a general plot idea. Or something you can grow this into something bigger.
Plot: Virus out break, starts out in the city of New York. Government funds private scientists to create a virus that will be used in years 2060, after calculating figures that the world will be overly populated.
One of the people (let’s dark here – criminals) they tested it on managed to break free of his testing cell and passed the virus on, unknowingly (It’s a flu type virus, highly contagious, easily passed on just by a cough) – This then caused sickness in the science lab, leaving the virus to be passed outside of the lab. Causing a massive outbreak.
People can die within 48 hours, 30 years and up are more likely to die within that time frame.
You see? That’s how brainstorming can you help you. That’s basic brainstorming. One you have this little plot, get a big ass note pad or word doc and get writing. Get plotting more in depth, from characters, to actual plot BEGINNING MIDDLE AND END. Brain storm the shit out of potential story ideas, as in where it could go. Brainstorm endings, middles, what the bad guys will do etc. Then you can get yourself into gear for settling down with what you have, and analysing what you have and really see if its worthy of writing. Though, i have written stuff before and gotten to about half way in a draft and been like ‘nope trash’ So really, you can never truly pin point when or how to know if its story worthy – This helps massively, bit most importantly it helps you do define the story and craft it into the perfected work of art you want to become.
Brainstorming is thrilling, we all get that adrenaline of excitement when a new idea hits us, that’s when we can get ahead of ourselves. Brainstorm and plot for a good few weeks, because you may also want to research shit and learn a little bit about what you are writing. Like the example above, i want to find a name for my science crew, the city, government, and a little look into viruses itself.
I hope this helps, though i aren’t sure if it is meant to but if you are knew to writing or have no idea how to really conjure up a story without brainstorming, then this can be your starting point. I have an idea to talk through my outlining process and what i did to achieve my structure in order for me to write – I’m a pantser at heart so my process is not going to be the same, though nobodies is. But i would love to share in the future because it might help in some way.
Thanks for reading, happy writing!