The Art of Brainstorming

The first thing that we as writers must master is the art of creating ideas. In order to write our great works, we must be able to create a central idea in which our story will revolve around. Oftentimes, this is much easier said than done.

Many writers come into the profession with a high level of enthusiasm and creative intellect. However, after a few years, they slow down and have a harder time creating ideas for their pieces. It is even worse if you have been a victim of writer’s block (of which nearly everyone has). So how do you come up with creative new ideas when you have a hard time coming up with anything?  That will be the central focus of our discussion here. Below, you will find a few methods to help you:

  1. Start big, work small.

When you are writing, try to think of a general concept. It can be something like space, science, or even equality. If you are really having a hard time with ideas, just write down whatever you see around you.

Next, write all the words that you can associate with each of your general ideas. Take some time and examine the words you wrote.  Do any stand out to you?  Are there any words that bring up certain feelings or a sense of curiosity?  If so, your story probably lies there.

Find the word that sticks out to you and explore it in more depth. For example, is your word happiness?  Maybe thinking about this word makes you think of a time when you were most happy or someone that you know was happy. Use this as a starting point for your own story. If you are not here yet and no words are calling out to you, keep on associating the words you written to a smaller idea.

Eventually, you will hit something that you as a writer would like to explore deeper.

  1. Play the “what if” game

Another great idea to brainstorm ideas is to write down the names of places you either love or really hate. Try to make your list as long as possible, at least 30 words.

Next, place them in a bowl or some kind of thing in which you can shuffle them around.

Finally, pick one of the places out of your container and ask yourself what would you do if you there. For example, what would you do if you were in the Caribbean? Write down all your reactions to what you would do; this is the beginning of your story. If you would like to add more variety, take yourself out of the equation and ask yourself what would somebody else do if they were in the same location.  Write down what could happen, what the response would be, and what would happen next. Before you know it, you will have your story!

Above are just two ways in which you can make the brainstorming process more interesting. Brainstorming is a natural part of every writer’s routine; the important thing is to keep it interesting by adding variety. Not only will variety make your piece more enjoyable to write, but it will also make it more enjoyable for reader’s too!

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