7 tips for effective brainstorming

Brainstorming is an odd term on the face of it.It may sound as if it’s an unstructured hit and miss affair that may or may not result in a lightning strike of ideas.But if undertaken in the right frame of mind it can allow you to access thoughts and ideas you never knew you were capable of.

There are times when writers experience a deep void when striving to construct new plots, storylines or characters.This is where brainstorming can be utilised to give your writing added thrust and momentum.

I like to think of brainstorming in a very visual way.Imagine if you will a desert plain, arid and dry, almost devoid of life.A sudden storm comes along and what happens?Within a short space of time the area is transformed.Shoots sprout and flowers bloom.Life appears where there was formally none.But those seeds had been lying dormant all along, just waiting for that first drop of rain to trigger their germination.

So in reality, brainstorming is a way of unlocking that potential in your mind and allowing it to germinate.

Try out these seven useful tips~

  • Only start a brainstorming session when you are relaxed and refreshed, not when you have been struggling with writer’s block for hours.A relaxed mind is a productive mind.
  • Write down thoughts in no particular pattern and don’t be inhibited in anyway.This is essential.You can discard whatever you don’t use later.Think of the paper as an extension of your thought process and write down whatever pops into your head no matter how bizarre and without worrying about where it may or may not fit in.
  • Use prompters such as who, what, where, when and why.
  • Think about your project visually and try to imagine one or two scenes in your mind’s eye.
  • Write down how you want your reader to feel, what tone you want to set and any underlying themes. I.e. racism, intrigue, romance and so on.
  • Give each point or idea you have generated a score based on relevance and usability.
  • Above all take a break and come back to it once you find yourself struggling.That way you’ll be able to analyse what you have written afresh and possibly even add to it.

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