Brainstorming is fun. It is the one chance when all of your ideas get to rush at you. Everything strange Everything potentially a brilliant part of your new plan. However, the real truth is that Brainstorm is nothing but a giant mess. Every little bit of the flurry of ideas rushing through your head hold the potential to be the gem of your next story. The truth is the early stages of brainstorming are just a giant mess.
I know there are a number of people who don’t plan at all. it isn’t their thing. This is for the others, the ones who love to plan, even if it is only a little. The ideas come in as a big giant mess. Any possibility. Any stream of thoughts often holds at least something. The result is a big old jumble of ideas that don’t necessarily make sense. All the different conflicting pieces that might make sense alone need more connective tissue, or need to drop certain plot paths in order to make more interesting ones work.
The way I tend to work is creating a single big file. In it I put down any possible idea regarding characters, plot, or world building. Often they are massive streams of thought that don’t actually amount to much. Many times there are run on sentences next to simple phrases. Big blocks of text beside single word paragraphs. If anyone other than myself were to read the jumbles that are in my brainstorming files, they might think I’ve gone mad. Then again maybe I have, considering I write novel after novel and have yet to sell one.
The not so fun part is when it is time for me to transcribe my mess into a meaningful outline. The first thing I do is separate out what is world building, from what are more integral to the movement of the story. Once, I’ve identified the two parts I begin to locate individual events. I pluck an event and create a scene or chapter for it. Then I find out where it relates to other events I’ve already plucked. Slowly but surely the story begins to form. All the while, I’m using all the worldbuilding ideas to make sense of my plot. It is only once I’ve expired everything from my mess of brainstorming that I really start to see the story which I’ve created. I also realize that I don’t have nearly enough for a full novel and more brainstorming ensues. At least in the second go around the thoughts are more concise and precisely delivered.