Thursday, May 28, 2009

4 Reasons Brainstorming is Essential to Good Writing

As writers we hear a lot about brainstorming - how and when to do it especially. But there are many reasons it's emphasized. I didn't used to give my writing the brainstorming it deserved. But over time I discovered how much even a little enhances the depth and quality of my work. Here are four prime ways constant brainstorming will improve your fiction as well.

1. Stronger Characters
There is nothing like weak character development to ruin a story. Prevent yourself from falling prey to it and learn everything you can about your characters. It doesn't matter if most of those details go unrecorded in the finished story. What matters is that you needed to know them to portray your characters faithfully. Remember, your readers can't know your characters unless you know them.

2. Original Plotlines
The more brainstorming you do, the more original your writing will become. Many times our ideas start off very simply - and obviously. But the more you think about it and explore options and alternatives, the more likely that you'll stumble across that "aha!" moment.

3. Clearly Defined Conflicts
Conflict is necessary to any story but without enough brainstorming the external and internal conflicts may get muddled down. You need to know what your characters are contending with. And again, brainstorming will help you get down to the heart of the conflicts. You'll produce intriguing ones instead of the stock conflict that we've all seen before.

4. Perfect Details
Life is in the details and so is good fiction. Characters, settings, plots - they all improve with attention to detail. But the details don't usually come unless you search for them. Brainstorming will take your writing from a lot of vague descriptions to specific character traits and setting details that will make both live on the page.

You don't have to sit down and make a formal session of brainstorming every time. Muse on your story and characters when doing mindless activities like dish washing. Think about it before you fall asleep at night. Play "what if?" while you run errands. There are lots of little moments like this that can become productive brainstorming times. When you do sit down to work, you'll have much more to work with. So don't underestimate the benefits of brainstorming.

Try This >>
Take one character and write down everything you know about him or her. Then, focus your brainstorming efforts on what you don't know. Spend 20 minutes listing or clustering the possibilities. You may be surprised and delighted by what you discover!


Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails