Brainstorming Ideas

Some of my tried and tested techniques

Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re a blogger, or at least a writer. The chances are that you know the struggle to come up with new ideas.

This is the question that I get asked all the time: “Where do you get all your ideas?”

The thing is that there is no simple answer. I’d love to say that a fairy-like muse swoops in and drops off ideas for me every day, but that simply isn’t true!

The truth is that I have to search my imagination and rack my brains to find my ideas, just like everyone else.

do have a couple of tried and tested techniques, though:

1. Write lists.

Write lists of anything and everything. Write lists of words that stand out to you. List names- you never know when you might be searching for that exact one for one of your characters. List settings, and situations. This is an absolute blessing when you’re really struggling for an idea.

2. Look for a prompt.

There are so many sites with these on, and often one prompt will just stand out to you. Once you have that, start freewriting- even if you think it’s rubbish. I guarantee that you’ll find a story fragment in there, if you just look hard enough!

3. Just start to write.

I know it sounds too simple, but freewriting, or stream of consciousness writing is a veritable goldmine. You will either find something to write about, or at the very least, you will find that you’ve emptied your head of all those thoughts, thus freeing up your mind to be creative. It only has to take ten minutes- give it a go. It’s never failed me yet!

4. Read.

If you’re really stuck, look to the stories you love- the books that you could read again and again and not get bored with. You’re bound to find a spark of inspiration in there- after all, there’s something in them that you connect with- something that keeps you coming back to them!

5. Play “What if?”

I really love this one! I simply look at a situation, (real or imagined) and write down a list of what if’s.

For example: If we take the Harry Potter books…

a) What if Harry ended up in Slytherin?

b) What if Voldemort tried to kill Neville instead of Harry?

c) What if Harry had listened to Malfoy and not befriended Ron?

d) What if Harry had refused to believe that he was a wizard?

e) What if Snape had actually liked Harry?

Here, you have five ideas, all primed and ready to go. Now, I’m not suggesting you try to rewrite Harry Potter, (although fan fiction can be really good fun, and an excellent way of keeping those writing muscles active when the dreaded writer’s block strikes!) but you could try this with any of your own stories- you never know, you might actually come up with something you enjoy writing more!

So, there you have it! Five of the ways I use to brainstorm ideas.

Have fun!

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Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


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