July 28, 2007
Brainstorming is the first step in any writing process. This is where you generate ideas. It doesn't matter if you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or even a resume. You need to brainstorm first.
Write It Down
Writing out your ideas actually does help. You'll kick yourself for not writing it down when you come up with a great idea in the middle of the night and forget about it in the morning. I suggest you always have a notebook and a couple of writing instruments nearby. You never know when brainstorming is going to happen.
Where Do Ideas Come From?
Observe people, animals, nature, life, etc. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times.
Learn something interesting. It can be a craft, a subject (like science or history), or even video games. When you learn something new, you get to practice asking questions like "Why" and "How" which can generate story ideas.
Even your own life can be interesting.
"What would happen if ...?" questions
Descriptions of locations
If you're serious about writing something, you'll need to plan a brainstorming session or two in addition to those spontaneous sparks of genius that come to you at odd times. The brainstorming session can last minutes or hours. Some people sit down with a piece of paper and devote themselves to brainstorming. Other people do some mindless daily activity (like washing dishes or folding clothes) while they think and write down their ideas when they come to them. Some people look for inspiration by changing their environment, going to the park, hanging out in nature, people watching at the mall, etc. Just remember, HAVE YOUR NOTEBOOK HANDY!