mbarker (mbarker) wrote,

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15 minutes worth of brainstorming?

Okay, I'm behind. But over at Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells are putting out a weekly series about writing called Writing Excuses. It's audio, not text, but I tried the first one today (it was put up Feb. 10) and it was pretty good!

So, my summary of some points (not a complete transcript) from

Brainstorming? This started with Howard taking a bath in Pepsi, but . . .
  1. Write those ideas down when they come by - otherwise they will sneak away again.
  2. Take some time to think about when you get ideas, then encourage them
Outlining - this is what follows brainstorming, once you get a few wrigglers
  1. Try some tools such as wikidpad (link on the site), or multiple files, or maybe outline mode. Use what works for you, but . . .
  2. Watch out for runaway organization (aka worldbuilder's disease). Keep the focus on specific characters and conflicts, not on writing your own encyclopedia of background.
  3. Need to balance between always improvising and spending forever preparing.
Watch for the golden moment when the ideas come together
  1. It's ideas that have simmered for years, and suddenly they will stick together, with the right chemistry. Often something small will catalyze this.
  2. Mix one mundane idea and one extraordinary notion, and sometimes you get wonder
Well worth spending some time listening to (only 15 minutes). And despite the term podcast, Firefox was perfectly happy playing this in a popup for me. Of course, it took me a moment to realize that I needed to press the forward icon in the popup window, but that's just me.

And you can find out about Howard's Pepsi habit, too. Now there's a sticky image. :-)
Tags: brainstorming, writing
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