1. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Brainstorming when you want a different twist in the plot of a novel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by The Backward OX, Jan 22, 2009.

    Does anyone have any experience with brainstorming for plot ideas?

    If you have, did it benefit you or any of the other participants?

    Do you think the idea would work in a forum?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Aristocrazy
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    Aristocrazy Member

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    I know when creating my now 5 book + 1 prologue book between books # 4 and 5 I originally had just a four book series with some loose ends to try to create a more "realistic" feel however I stumbled on a great way, with some major revisions, to have a killer massive twist at the end of book 4 that would tie the major loose end up in an interesting way... turned out to be such a major twist i needed to have a prologue book inserted between books 4 and 5.

    this was made over the course of 3 years though... i think anytime you insert unplanned twists you have to be very careful to make sure there are no illogic's created.

    if you can do that though. from my experience inserting twists is a massively rewarding experience and I felt there was a great benefit from it.
     
  3. FlashScribe
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    FlashScribe New Member

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    I haven't written a novel, yet, but from my experience with short stories I know that a plot line can often escape you as the characters take on a life of their own and do whatever they want. At that point I tend to let them go ahead and I even go back to change the original plot to fit the twist. So far it has worked well for me, creating some of the best stories I have written.

    Remember that a story should be something organic, you can give it some direction but it has to grow on its own, otehriwse it will feel mechanic and dry.
     
  4. Callire
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    Callire New Member

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    What I did (since I'm a very visual person) is I bought a massive book of drawing paper (2ft by 3ft each sheet) and made myself fill one sheet out per night. I got colored markers and color coded everything, so Green ink is character A, Blue ink is plot, etc. etc. Most of the notes I scrawled aren't that useful, but it made me start thinking new things. I also have a blank wall opposite my writing area, so I stuck the sheets up so I could look at them all day. I looked completely insane, but it really helped.
     
  5. Dcoin
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    Dcoin Contributing Member

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    I like this idea and I think I'm going to try it. It's almost like "A Beautiful Mind" sans the pesky paranoid delusion.
     
  6. The Backward OX
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    The Backward OX Senior Member

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    Does anyone know what brainstorming means?
     
  7. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    What I do is write brief three point outlines of each individual scene (who is involved, what happens, how does this advance the overall plot) out on individual strips of paper. Then fiddle around with the order until I am happy, photocopy them onto A4 sheets (usually I can get about two or three per page) and then place the photocopies and the notes in my trusty blue plastic slip binder. Not as colourful as your method Callire, but it works.
     
  8. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    For a proper brainstorming, you'll probably need people who are as involved in your story as you are--otherwise it will be a waste of time. I've tried it with collegues who are also writers, but the things that came up were so far from the whole theme and feel of my work that it became useless.

    There might be a better way then. Since what you're looking for is something that breaks your thinking habits, go to wikipedia and hit "random page" and then read something random from it. Continue ad infinitum.
     
  9. Mark R
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    Mark R Member

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    brainstorming isnt quite what i do, but i do find a way to come up with a few twists and turns..

    i walk to work on a morning, takes me about 25-30mins, and my mind wanders. i think about the next chapter i'm due to write (usually when i get in after work) and flesh it out a bit in my mind as i walk.

    every so often, i'll have one of those "oooh, what if that happens?" moments. had a few good plot twists and ideas for subplots like that.

    PS. although you do get a few odd looks when you suddenly blurt out "of course!" just as someone passes by.
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Then wrap a towel around you and run down the street, dripping wet and yelling, "Eureka!"
     
  11. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have any experience with it because I've never found anyone willing to do it. I think it could be a very useful tool though. The problem is that everybody who wants to be an author is so incredibly concerned that their ideas must be theirs that it becomes a mortal sin to try and get them from someone else.
     
  12. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    I've never brainstormed with others because I can only work in a quiet environment where I can talk to myself.
    I think it could work on a forum. In fact, I think it has...
    Sometimes you can't decide where you want to go when there are so many roads to take, and you need advice. Sometimes you just need ideas to branch off one of your own. I'm sure it's happened on this forum.
     

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