Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday Tips: Brainstorming

The very first stop on my entire process is random brainstorming.

I always do this in long hand on paper. My only constraint has become the fact that I always use lined, 8.5x11 notebook paper. If it is not 3-Hole punched I will punch it.

Every page is dated and will go into a notebook later, sorted by date. Some times it will also have a topic in the header if I was Brainstorming about a specific topic like future weapons, FTL drive technology, prisons of the future, fictional religions, etc. Every page finds it's way into the ideas binder.

This binder is gold...

Mostly the Brainstorms are random. One line might be a cool character name. This might be followed by a plot idea. That may be followed by what might be in the pockets of a security chief in the future. The point is to let it flow.

Keep it handy because random stuff happens during any typical day. Something interesting about food. A fat guy can more easily conceal a handgun. The AI on your phone recognizes someone else's voice. Random fashion all the time.

Eventually Brainstorms begin to cluster into concepts, plots, characters, twists, settings and in the end the brainstormed single line plot that is the beginning of the Outlining Process.

Another Brainstorm tool is a random notes folder on my PC. Electronic brainstorming can come in many forms: Saved images, pieces of music, maps, links, or any other random thing that might give you an idea from the computer.

--All this becomes excellent fodder for the writers mind.

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