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One Great Idea
All it takes is one great idea to write a novel. That, along with 60,000+ words and squinting at a screen while your fingers cramp, all while the nag of self-doubt whispers in your ear.
I’m starting here, at the very beginning with the idea, because I’ve found I save a ton of work by having a well-developed idea before I get too far into writing.
Sure, of course, you can write something great on the fly. You may think you have the best novel ever written for a few chapters even, but without a well thought through idea you’ll probably soon find your story running out of steam, with plotlines and characters running in every direction.
This is when you’ll wish you had thought further than one perfect idea in advance.
Do you have a Beginning, Middle, and End? Great. Is there a complex sub-story happening in all three of those sections? Superb. Do you have a wide variety of intriguing characters and settings to flesh out your story and make your world more believable??
That’s where having secondary ideas to pull from is going to pay off after the first few pages are dry.
There are tons of different ways to brainstorm, and I’ve even included a link to my Pinterest Board here that’s full of different methods. My favorite, however, is a simple brain dump.
The Brain Dump
I know, it’s not the prettiest name. Sure you can use terms like Free Write, but I call it what it is, a brain dump. You literally write down every great idea you have and then sift through them for the ones that shout out at you.
If you’ve had a productive eh, dump, then you should end up with a good collection of secondary characters and motivators. Pinterest is amazing for helping you find fresh ideas if you’re still not sure about the direction you want your book to go.
My Brainstorming Process
When brainstorming for a new book I basically focus on three separate things:
Character Development is worthy of its own brainstorming session (or dump) and I’ll focus more on that next week, and if you like writing epic fantasies and dystopian parables like I do than your world building will take a lot of thought as well. But for now, just focus on getting the most out of your great idea.
How do you brainstorm? Comment below and be sure to follow me to see new posts in the How To Write A Novel series every Tuesday!