1. RH Jackson
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    RH Jackson New Member

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    How do you brainstorm?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by RH Jackson, Sep 21, 2015.

    New, that I am. However I have a few topics I'd like to discuss. Firstly being the brainstorming phase. Now, I'm deeply, deeply grateful for my Army Science teacher, for he taught bolus wonderful uses for thinking maps. That's how I brainstorm as of last month. List a subject, then write down anything related to it without thinking hard. Even if it's silly.

    So that's what I do. Sometimes I end up with lists I don't dare count, other times I have a list I wish was bigger. The question I pose to others is this:

    How do you brainstorm?​
     
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  2. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    When I get an idea I think is brilliant, I grab my buddy Erik and force him to listen to it. Mostly I am rubber-duckying him, but sometimes he does offer useful feedback.

    Either way, the process of talking out my idea helps me solidify it and identify potential holes and problems, and hopefully fix them as they come up.
     
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  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I walk. I walk around in circles for hours and hours.

    I realized recently I find it hard to think clearly about such things when I am not walking.
     
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  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I think there are a few threads on the forum already about brainstorming and stuff, but in terms of writing, I usually just think up a basic plot scenario then write down possible ideas that I could include in it. Like you said, write down anything related, even if it's a bit bizarre. The real benefit with brainstorming is that even a silly or weird idea can give rise to other or even better ideas -- it's like an evolution of ideas.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I walk in the park listening to my characters talk to each other, and brainstorm with my son over lunch. And sometimes I brainstorm in the evening with a couple glasses of wine.
     
  6. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I don't. What kind of things are you brainstorming?
     
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  7. Elena Schmetterling
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    Elena Schmetterling Member

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    I just sit there. Or if I'm lucky, look out of a window.
     
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  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure what I do is exactly brainstorming, but when an idea hits me, if it doesn't have at least a hint of the bizarre, I find it hard to engage with it. :)
     
  9. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I do a lot of thinking prior to writing. Just imagining the story trying to get away from ideas that are too surface. And sometimes I brainstorm on a sheet of paper - same idea. I want to bounce off words and try and get away from my initial reaction to things. Striving for something original but still familiar.
     
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  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I find it very hard to brainstorm. I just get the germ of an idea and start writing the story. I find the actual act of writing the story stimulates a flood of ideas. I suppose my first draft is my "brainstorm" draft.
     
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  11. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is gonna sound like a real cop-out, but I just...kinda...think. I don't know, it's hard to explain. I'll have an idea for a story, typically a character or two and a sense of conflict/plot, and then I just mull it over during downtime. Once I have a general sense of beginning and end, I'll get writing and see where it takes me. Things develop and grow from that point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
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  12. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    That's my process before Erik becomes a rubber ducky. :bigwink:
     
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  13. ClassyCanuck
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    ClassyCanuck Member

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    Ideas pop into my head when I'm not brainstorming and if they don't I usually have to force myself to sit down and think things over. Most of the time my brainstorming happens while I'm writing, or working. XD
    My favourite brainstorming happens when I think of a great dialogue idea between characters and start acting it out. My SO understands I'm talking as the characters I create to work out loopholes or issues in the conversation. My neighbours outside or tenants in the basement think I'm talking to characters I create... being labelled as the crazy neighbour that talks to the voices in her head isn't a great experience. XD
     
  14. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I like bouncing ideas off of friends, but I don't like relying on them for it. Many times, I'll prop myself up in bed with my laptop, lay my head back, close my eyes, and just type. Any and every thought that drifts through gets put down. sometimes, an idea picks up momentum and snowballs into something bigger.
     
  15. Imaginarily
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    Imaginarily Disparu en Mer Contributor

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    You type with your eyes closed? I want to see the typos.
     
  16. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    It can be pretty bad! But, I learned to type without looking at the screen, so it's not as bad as you might imagine.
     
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  17. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    One of the tricks to brainstorming is letting go of fixed ideas. What your character is like, or what you want to happen in the plot, or where you want the story to be set—or even what you want the story to be about. Be willing to let go of any/all of those ideas and just play around with possibilities.

    My character would NEVER do that! Oh, yes he might. Under what circumstances? But if I set the story in the midwest, there won't be any ocean to sail around on. What else might people do instead? If Patrick doesn't actually murder his best friend, then there's no story. There might be. Find it.

    You may decide your original idea is what you want to pursue after all, but don't be afraid to drop notions during the brainstorming process. Turn every idea you get on its head, and see what happens. Take the left turn instead of the right turn. Take something away from your character instead of giving it to him. Turn love to hate. Turn hate to love. Play around with everything. Your best story (or scene, or plot) will emerge in a whole new form. And if you return to your original idea, you'll have a better understanding of why it's the best choice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
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  18. ballislife
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    ballislife New Member

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    I rarely sit down and go, "Okay, I am going to brainstorm yet." Instead, I just let project ideas brew for a long time before I begin planning. I tell my subconscious hey, I am about to work on this thing, so come up with some ideas for me, thanks. Then, I go about my daily business, and whenever an idea comes my way, I will note it down. Sometimes, when I am walking to buy my groceries etc, I would actively think of ideas and type them up. Basically, I am always doing something else while I am generating ideas :).
     
  19. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    I never "brainstorm". My ideas are already sufficiently refined so that when I get them, I know what I want to write. But usually I fully refine them in the bathroom or anywhere else where it is cold and quiet.
     
  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    So, in other words, you brainstorm on the toilet. ;)
     
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  21. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I shitstorm on the toilet.
     
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  22. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    So much this. One of my novels started out in my head as a creepy neighbor high-tension thriller and turned into a heartwarming nostalgic dramedy about reliving childhood. You never know what you might come up with if you let go of the absolutes.
     
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  23. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't. I'm dreadful at it.

    I've read shitloads of tips, tricks and advice on brainstorming, and none of them work.

    If I ever get an idea for a novel, it's by sheer fortune, not design.
     
  24. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    On the toilet.
     
  25. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    A brother from another mother.
     
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