Brainstorming

NaNoWriMo is coming is less than a month. The acronym stands for National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

The first year I tried it, I came up with a novel idea on October 31 and began writing. Writing over 1500 words a day when you don’t know where you’re going is like following a two-year-old through a barnyard.

So planning is in order. And November 1 is closing in.  So the brainstorming will begin. But what method?  Here are a few ideas that I will try when brainstorming:

  • Freewriting. Just put pen to paper or, in my case, fingers to keyboard, and write for at least five minutes without stopping. This one works, even though I have to put up with at least 30 seconds of “I am writing even though I have nothing to write and I wonder how long I can keep this up before my brain goes to mush…” About then, the ideas start popping.
  •  Mapping. This is a visual way of listing ideas. Basically you start with a word or idea, write that in the center of a big sheet of blank paper, and start running lines off the circle to other words or ideas. This method can turn rabbit trails into amazing ideas.
  •  Cubing. This one is new to me but basically it attacks a word or idea from six different directions. It incorporates the who, what, when, where, why, and how for an idea.  Describe the topic (what is it?) and then start asking questions. That appeals to my journalistic background.
  •  Researching. Take the idea and start to investigate it. Learn what you can about the topic and see what ideas spring forward.
  •  Ask my sister to lunch. My sister and I brainstorm together very well. We laugh and throw goofy ideas onto the table, which are almost guaranteed at some point to lead us to some great ideas. Inviting others into the brainstorming process can be amazing.

I’m off to storm some ideas.

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