Are you a brainstormer?

In the long history of humankind…those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” -Charles Darwin 

When I am working on an idea for my writing (or in life actually), I find the most valuable ideas come after a brainstorming session.  With my writing, I love texting with my sister to figure things out. Why in text? Well, text requires brevity, and that you are concise. It forces me to boil down the thoughts in a way that talking sometimes doesn’t. (And we don’t usually have time to stay on the phone so texting works for that too.)

After hours and a long text thread of thinking later, I might not have solved the question I was working on, but thinking things through and having a few LOLs in the process makes a difference and helps keep me going. I also have a girlfriend who listens to me ranting on the phone (usually while I am driving) and then thinks through some ideas with me.  My poor husband must start cringing when I pop out of my office, arms in the air, “honey, I what do you think about this…”

Most of the brainstorm ideas end up on the cutting room floor, but whenever I struggle with a plot point, or a motivational issue for my characters, or even reworking some things from scratch… I am able to produce much better work if I am able to bounce the ideas around with someone else.  Sometimes I come away with the tiniest kernel of a solution that springs the story forward beautifully.

If you’re stuck with a problem in your story, do you give someone else’s brain a test drive?

My D Read:  The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino  (really different, mystery, thriller)

My D Listen: Dawes

About the Author Corinne

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  1. You make a very good point here, and it’s something I need to hear now and then. I’ve brainstormed with friends. Afterward, they’ve told me how useful it was. And yet, I didn’t find my suggestions in their final draft.

    It took a bit for me to figure out that my suggestions aren’t the point. They’re stalled. My job is to get out and push.

    That bit where we kick around ideas and I suggest this, that and the other to no avail? That’s me with my shoulder to the tailgate.

    They may not go where I suggest, but I helped get ’em moving, all the same.

    Nice post.

    D: Devious Devices from the DeMoulin factory

  2. Hi Joe,
    Exactly!! Sometimes you’re the shoulder to the tailgate, that is such a perfect analogy. But sometimes you’re the spark that gets the fire burning brighter as well.
    Welcome here!

  3. Usually when I’m stuck on a section, I just go read a book. That usually gets the juices flowing and I cannot wait to get back to my own story!

    Following via the A-Z Challenge!

  4. I don’t usually brainstorm with others to get the ideas flowing. I drive around. For some reason, my best work arrives on the road. It is totally my muse.

  5. I have a friend who also writes and I love the brief times we have together because we use most of it bouncing around ideas. If I’m stuck, he’ll offer ideas, and I’ll do the same for him.

    Usually, like you mentioned, only a kernel is usable, but I wouldn’t have had it otherwise.

    Great post!

  6. I’m still kind of at a “private” stage of my writing, but I really do want to start sharing more. I think it’s valuable to have people you can trust put eyes to it, or to bounce ideas off of.

    Often a lot of my brainstorming, especially to get “unstuck”, happens in odd places like while driving to work and early morning in the shower (it’s surprising how many A-Ha moments I’ve had while still half asleep…).

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