There is a reason they call it braintstorming.Posted: June 13, 2012
Several times when I’ve been brainstorming new books and chapters, I have realized how accurate the term “brainstorming” actually is.
I brainstorm in diffenent ways. I either walk somewhere nice, like the marina or the park, or I go to a quiet coffee shop. Sometimes I just sit at my desk and try to work out ideas or outlines. Another method I used is to lie down, listen to some fitting music with a tiny notepad, and wait for the storm that eventually develops.
And when it rains, it pours. I don’t know if every writer is like this, but when I’m thinking of ideas they form like a massive black cloud opening up into the sky. Sometimes so big that I have to rein them in a bit, and say to myself “ok self, you need to stop”.
It’s pretty amazing when I think about it. It’s like each Idea is in itself a little round storm cloud. These tiny clouds pile onto each other until a lightning and thundering poring mass is laid out before me.
However these ideas have to be cut and tempered and fit into an outline that makes some kind of sense.
I know that some writers do not outline or plot. Some very famous ones in fact. For instance Stephen King is strictly set against plotting. He prefers to sit down, and let the story take him where it will. That’s cool, but Stephen King is a prolific mad man, and genius. So I, and many others like us are stuck outlining.
I have found some truth in his approach to writing though. If I don’t put some kind of outline down, then the story seems to stop and go. It’s kind of a herky jerky ride, like bumper cars at the fair. But if I put down too much detail in the outline it get’s boring, and hard to stick with.
Some of my best stuff has come from a balanced combination of the two. If I know the general direction I am headed. I can steer the story toward that, but I can let the individual chapter or scene play out by itself; opening that channel of creativity, and letting it flow.
Either way it’s exiting to get working on new ideas and go to new places. Sometimes I find it better than reading, because I truly don’t know what will come next.