Monday, September 29, 2008

Brainstorming with Other Writers

Have you ever brainstormed ideas with other writers? I just spent a weekend devoted to brainstorming and was it ever fun! In a roundtable discussion, we took turns giving a brief outline of the book idea we were working on, and everyone pitched in to add to it. We set rules, naturally, such as the ideas for each novel are the property of the writer, and there was a rule about being respectful of everyone's ideas.

In the right atmosphere, brainstorming can be insightful, entertaining, and downright fun. Even when someone throws out an idea that you don't necessarily see as being right for your book, someone else may jump on that idea and tweak it to make it perfect. It happened again and again.

Some books plotted pretty quickly. Other books proved more difficult; we all scratched our heads and threw thoughts out until something clicked. It's amazing how fast problems can get solved between six or seven authors compared to one person banging her head against the wall for three days straight!

Other benefits of group brainstorming: being around people with different thought processes than your own, trusting other writers to help you with your work, finding out insider tips you may not have known about, and bonding with other writers. For the extremely sensitive person, it can help develop a thicker skin. At no point did anyone say "this idea is ridiculous," but, because we are a tongue-in-cheek bunch, we all poked fun of each other when appropriate. No one's feelings were hurt, and no one went away empty handed.

I will always treasure the brainstorming weekend I just had. It wasn't my first dip in group brainstorming, but it was my first weekend devoted to it. If you ever have a chance to participate in one, I would suggest you sign right up!

Enjoy your week.

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