Plant before the rain

Now that you’re planning your brainstorming party (see yesterday’s post), it’s time to expand the metaphor. Consider planting idea seeds before dousing then with brainstorm rain. This Fast Company article suggests you’re likely to wash away unrooted ideas in a flood of enthusiasm after you hear the first few in a traditional session. In short,Continue reading “Plant before the rain”

Take them by storm

Brainstorming is something you can do alone, but it’s not nearly as much fun. Next time you get stuck, invite your writer’s group or some writer friends to a brainstorming party. Go a little crazy. Play some silly word games. Find lightning swizzle sticks for your punch. Then try these tips. Bet you all goContinue reading “Take them by storm”

Visual aids

If you like to think in images — rather than outlines — or if you’re working on a play or a film, storyboarding might be a technique worth investigating. There’s a basic explanation from the Berkeley journalism program. If you like it, here’s a site where you can try making your own. (Of course, there’sContinue reading “Visual aids”

Worth _____ words

Despite the headline writer’s enthusiasm, I don’t find these photos all that eerie. Fascinating? Yes, in a picture-prompt sort of way. Pick one and write 1,000 words — or a novel, or a poem, or a history of window displays. Eerie and Fascinating Photos of a Completely Empty New York City Taken in 1964

What else is out there?

No matter what you write, research is important. But beyond knowing background about the people, places and things of your story, it’s good to be able to know what has already been written about your subject. Just how many histories of crocheting already exist? What else has been written about sparkling vampires or robotic lawmen?Continue reading “What else is out there?”

Paean to pretending

Meanwhile, back at the keyboard, these writers claim they’ve been inspired  — even trained — in their craft by role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons. Then there are the rare few who have made their careers in role playing games. Take Matt Forbeck, for one, who has D&D among his credits.  Really, though, whoContinue reading “Paean to pretending”