Saturday, April 4, 2015

Building A Concept #2: Brainstorming

Back in March, I gave you some suggestions on finding inspiration. (I'm a little late to the party this month, as my family just made a cross country move.) But what do you do once you have bits and pieces of ideas? My favorite part of the creative process: Brainstorming.There are three main ways I take idea bits and create them into something resembling a plot, 1) expand a single into its own story, 2) combine several ideas into a story, or 3) incorporate them into a current story. Each way of handling ideas leads into even more brainstorming. It's also important to take the time and give your mind the freedom to play with each one.

Expand one idea
A single spark of inspiration can lead to an entire story. The key is to take it and either expand a scene or build a plot/setting/character around it. You may see a child doing something or come up with a snippet of conversation. Take that bit and run with it.

Stir together a couple ideas
This is my favorite of favorites for brainstorming. In fact, one of my current WIPs combined the Evil Gnome King with marshmallow fluff and a creature who washes wishes. BAM! Instan-story. Sometimes its the ridiculous combinations that add so much fun/tragedy/inciting incident to a story.

Add idea into a current story
This was a new concept to me until one of my critique partners asked me if a new WIPs plot point would work better in a nearly finished manuscript. It slipped into place seamlessly, and I virtually kissed her cheek. If you have a manuscript that feels like its missing something or is generally lack luster, pulling out the trusty idea notebook can be a great way to give a character more dimension or bolster your plot.

That's all I have for April, but come on back May 2nd for the final post in this series, where we'll talk about organizing ideas for future use.

E.G. Moore

E. G. Moore is a poet, freelance writer, and storyteller. She is a long distance member of For Pete’s Sake Writers Group in Washington and is a Rocky Mountain Chapter SCBWI member. She loves writing stories that send her young readers on adventures they can't experience in real life. She’s excited to be the new blog assistant for YAtopia. When she’s not telling “Mommy Made stories” to her two daughters or nagging her husband to edit her latest manuscript, she can be found off-roading in her suped-up ATV, swimming, or in a long, plot-refreshing bubble bath. She tweets @egmoorewriter, posts on, and blogs at

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