Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brainstorming a Plot

by Sue Viders


How does one brainstorm a plot?

In fact, how does one brainstorm anything?

No matter what you are going to brainstorm, you need a starting point.

An idea. A thought. Or in my case a suggestion from my writing partner like “Sue, why don’t you write about how to brainstorm about getting your plot going.”

Great. A good starting point. A blog about brainstorming plotting. I can do that.
Let’s first understand what brainstorming means and how it works.

                        1 - Basically it is a fun way to get a lot of different ideas about your idea.

                        2 - There should never be any negative comments about the ideas,

                             all suggestions should be welcomed no matter how silly or how wild.

                        3 - And the wilder the better. Enjoy thinking outside of the damn box.

                        4 - Don’t be afraid to combine ideas.

Okay, let’s go. Let’s brainstorm about how to plot your story.

Step One - Where to start?

  First dec ision to make before any brainstorming starts is to decide what the genre of the plot is going to be? This only you can decide. Because if it is a romance, the plot will be slightly different that if it is, say a paranormal sci-fi tale, a suspenseful thriller or even a cozy mystery.

  So the writer has to make this choice, whether it is made by the choice of the main character or by the situation or problem that needs to be resolved, it has to be made.

Step Two - A bit of research is needed

  I like google. No, it’s more than that. I love google. I google everything. Why? Because it usually gives me a starting point for my brainstorming. So once I have decided on the genre I can google, let’s say, romance plots.

  Jack-pot. I can click on anyone of the following which will get my gray cells percolating...

  romance plots from the classics, the TV or from the movies

  common or even strange romance plots, etc...etc...

Step Three - Talk it over with a writing friend.

  I also love this part. Talk it over with a friend. One of my writing friends and I have a working breakfast every Friday morning and work over both our plots, she does the romance bit and I do the cozy murder/mystery plot.

  With two heads I have found ideas are more forthcoming.

Step Four - Do a Story Board

  I also love story boards. Whether you choice to do a formal, fill in the blanks, story board or an informal one, put sticky notes up on you office wall, (I prefer this way) a story board, which is a visual outline of your plot, is wonderful because, you can either use your eraser or you can move the sticky notes around as the plot evolves and changes.

  Oh yes, it will change. Trust me on this one. Plots always change. And the more you brainstorm... grin... the more they change. Almost always for the better.

Step Five - Sit down and write the damn story.

And there you have it.  Try it out yourself and see if it doesn’t help.

P.S. I’m meeting with my writing partner tomorrow to do some brainstorming on her latest idea. Can hardly wait.
 
 

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