My daughter and I headed out for a thirty minute walk the other day. These exercise strolls tend to whiz by if we have some topic of conversation. I told her I had just the subject. A story had been forming in my head, and I needed to talk it through. Sometimes just saying it aloud helps the characters and plot form in more detail. Also, after hearing my basic story line, my daughter will often ask questions or bring up things that popped into her head while listening. Then, we dialogue back and forth until the story starts to become clearer to me. Usually I rush inside and write down notes as fast as I can before I forget any of the twists and turns we've come up with.
My writer/friend, Brooke, is also a great brainstorming partner. With her I usually start off the same way by telling her the basic plot line. Through asking me a lot of "what if" and "how about" questions she starts to pull the story out of me.
Admittedly for me, I tend to produce a better first draft if I have done this brainstorming before writing. Without brainstorming I find myself in need of adding those twists and turns to the second draft. I suppose brainstorming really gets me ahead in my story and makes it more complete from the beginning.
Okay all you writers out there. How do you nail down your ideas and get them into a story? Do you brainstorm? Do you have other techniques to pull that story out of you?
Be willing to speak from a different place, to discover memories you didn't even know were there.
from Thunder and Lightning