14 September 2009

Brainstorming - A Hazardous Venture

There are a few writers I talk to on IM who seem to evoke the ideas in me. Sometimes we'll have a discussion that is not even related to any kind of idea or WIP and suddenly the plot bunnies are exploding like mine fields through my brainpan, urging me to come up with entire worlds, plots, characters and conflicts on the spur of the moment.

This has happened twice in the past month while talking to the same person. Now, I wouldn't mind this phenomenon so much if I had all the time in the world in which to further develop said ideas. As it is, my writing plate is full. Overfull really. I have a virtual idea gluttony going on on my hard drive at the moment, so this prolific idea factory isn't helping matters any. I'm starting to worry that there is no way I'll have the time to finish all the ideas I have...ever. And that's a crying shame. Really.

What is it about certain phrases, conversational gambits, or offhanded comments that spark the imagination? The latest in my stack of "need to write" ideas came as a flippant title for a nonexistant book. After I typed it into the IM window I said..."Hmmmm. I like that title. I has possibilities." - The plot bunnies were in the mood again and procreating at an alarming rate.

Before the conversation ended (which grew into a phone call to continue the brainstorming - bs - session) I had a complete story arc for a futuristic novella. This isn't the first time I've had a little kernal of something or 'nother and it blossomed into a full story. I once was in the chat room at Romance Divas telling the girls about a snippet of a dream I had and before we all had to call it a night, I had an entire three-book series. It's just amazing how things can blossom and grow from the tiniest of information.

Forget about reading magazines like Scientific American or Discover. They are absolute breeding grounds of fertile idea seeds - pods if you must - that stick to a body like Velcro covered Post-it notes as you thumb through the pages. I'm not kidding! I just love 'em. But I have to read with an eye towards research I'm doing for current projects rather than tilling the soil in prep for new ideas.

If I didn't know better, I swear brainstorming was in addiction worthy of a 12-step program. Honestly, it's my crack. And it doesn't matter if I'm brainstorming for my own projects or helping someone with theirs. I love to sit and discuss and try to come up with plausible reasons for motivation, conflict, plugging plot holes, etc. Even if the ideas are ultimately rejected, or don't end up fitting in the overall project, it's still fun to expand your mind and dig for something different.

I love brainstorming so much, I think it should have its own national holiday, complete with parades, picnics, fireworks and a brainstorming pagent where hunky men worthy of cover-model hero status compete for the title of Brainstorming Beefcake.

What do you say? Think we can get a movement started?



Carolan Ivey said...

I'm in!!

Jean Marie Ward said...

Me too. I sometimes think I became a writer for the opportunity to talk about other writers about writing.
I did mention I'm insane, yes? :-)
Jean Marie