Friday, September 19, 2008

Brainstorm Your Way to a Book! Simple List-Making Technique Works for Fiction or Nonfiction

A book could be just a list away.  This week's exercise encourages you to start a simple list in your writing notebook:  possible topics you could write about. 

Ask yourself, What could become a scene or section or small moment in my book?

Your challenge:  add three items to your list each day this week.  Watch your book build.

Go wild:  Allow yourself to include things that don’t seem to fit, like a color, image, snapshot memory, dream, desire, smell, favorite meal. Use your own special shorthand and descriptors to jot these ideas down. Choose image-rich words, if you can, so your imagination will be triggered when you read them. The most successful brainstorming lists immediately put the writer into a scene full of senses.

Examples from my current novel's list:

red stain in the carpet
nighttime trees in the orchard behind Molly's (main character's) house
Molly saying no to Lisa--finally