Lately I’ve had writing on the brain. So much so that I’ve yet to finish reading a book so far this year.
*hangs head in shame*
Anyway, since I’ve been writing so much, I’ve been thinking a lot about my process in an attempt to make it more efficient and less stressful for me.
And I thought I would talk with all of you, to see what works for you. Maybe I could take bits and pieces of your ideas and create something that helps me focus more. For most people, their writing process begins with brainstorming. I’m no exception to that rule. So let’s start there.
For me, brainstorming is a very general process.
I usually something in mind that I want to build a story around. It starts general, and moves towards something more specific until I have a setting, character, genre, etc., that I want to build a novel or story around. Even then, the specifics don’t often come to me until later.
Mind mapping is often what helps me go from general to specific details.
Starting with an idea or two, I branch out and find/create more specific details about the idea and try to discover connections between them. What fits together? What would help create a world? What character traits can I use? Sometimes more than one mind-map is useful as things get more specific and break down into smaller parts.
Listing is usually the other way I go about brainstorming.
Similar to mind mapping, this generally consists of me writing down things. It’s not unusual for those things to make absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. Even to me. This method is often how I come up with ideas for blog posts as well as story ideas. It allows me to go through and find ideas that I can combine, or further develop.
Some people do all of this on the computer, but I find that for me hand-writing everything is the best way to organize my thoughts. There is something about scrawling ideas on paper that really helps me to focus, or find ideas buried in my mind.
Check out the post I wrote for NaNoWriMo on Brainstorming.
What is your brainstorming process like?
Do you have an ongoing (and constantly growing) list of ideas? Do you come up with ideas one-by-one (that’s usually how it works for me)?
How do you keep everything organized?