Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Brainstorming Sessions

I get asked a lot, "How do you come up with your ideas?"

I'm a natural brainstormer. I've always wondered if such and such happened, then what would follow? I actually drive my husband nuts with it on long car drives, lol.

Curiosity is the best form of brainstorming. It makes me ask lots and lots of questions.

One day, I was curious if God knew how roads would be made out of black asphault. Well of course he knew. But then I wondered who the guy was that invented it. Was he a Christian? Did he know God knew he would be the guy? Was he at all concerned with environmental impact?

See? Pick any little thing and simply wonder about it. Now start making it personal for your characters. So if God knew that one certain man would come up with the idea to build roads out of black tar/asphault, then why him? Hmmm. Would that guy have to fight for his invention against the blacksmithing labor union, lol? Or would everyone be racing to build the first black asphault road once they understood about cars? And if so, did the first recognized inventor get rich? (So many inventors don't.)

If he did get rich, did that matter in his love life? Was he suddenly an eligible bachelor? Did the woman who loved him get to marry him or did her father disapprove because he was poor, then he was rich because he changed the environment? What did her father think of that? What did she? Did it change her mind or did she marry him anyway? Was she proud of his invention because now people could connect easier, faster, and get to the hospital faster? Did his invention save their baby's life?

See? Let your imagination run wild. Write it all down. Then go back and see if you can find any real answers to your questions. You never know. I know a woman who was rejected by the young man's family for being too poor with no potential. Guess what? She's never married, but is a well-off philanthropist now. Wouldn't that be an interesting protagonist? Especially if she ran into the young man years later. Why wouldn't he go against his family? Oh the questions rolling through my mind...

What about you? What questions will help you dig deeper and brainstorm? Do you need a sounding board? Do you have a friend who likes curious adventures too?

Think about this: If God gave us the ability to question, didn't he mean for us to be curious?

I love Jeremiah 6:16 "Stand at the ancient crossroads and look..."
I think he means to wonder, question, and think. "Ask where the good way is and walk in it..." Then go down that road and experience the fun, joy, and fulfilling things He shows you. Maybe you'll build a road that allows a community to get food, create an invention that changes the world, or a book that sparks a young person's desire to be...

Oh man, now I have another story idea!



  1. Angie,

    I think writers have to have a naturally curious mind. We are born with it and it is ingrained in us. My husband is like yours. I drive him nuts with my wandering mind. Now when he wants my opinion on something he'll start by saying, "I don't want a whole book, just a simple answer."

  2. My husband and I took a class years ago that taught about people who paint pictures with their words (painters) and people who get right to the point (pointers.) Guess which your hubby and mine are? Guess what we are,lol?


  3. Ang,
    I make up stories all the time. Everywhere I look I see a story. My husband stays very amused at my imagination.

  4. I love how you went throught that whole sequence, Angie! LOL Yes, we can drive people crazy. I get ideas everywhere, I mean everywhere!

    I love some of the ones you threw out. Sounds like a fun idea to do when I get back to working on another book post-revisions.

    Jenn, I love what you husband says to you when he asks you something! LOL