Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I decided to give myself a break from Boneknapper over the weekend and glanced through some story ideas I had come up with over the last couple of years. Most were pretty lame and were shoved back into the Idea folder. But, one held my attention for more than five minutes, and that's all it really takes for me to begin fleshing out the basic story plot.

I love how one simple word or phrase can turn into a diamond of a story. I enjoy brainstorming with the who, what, where, when, and why. It's amazing all the possibilities I come up with. Just like how a grain of sand can turn into a beautiful pearl!

I start off with the 'what if' game (I really enjoy this part). For example, with Boneknapper: What if someone stole a finger from a grave to exact revenge through Voodoo?

1) a crazed lunatic who fed off of misery? (not revenge)

2)revenge because her son was accidentally killed and no one was paying the price? Much better as it pulls out more raw emotion in the story and readers might have a tiny bit of sympathy for my villian.

(I have arrows pointing in two different directions much like a family tree.)

And it just exploded from there. Ideas flew through my brain so quick, I had a hard time keeping up to jot them all down! My simple tree became a whippoorwill.

The same thing happened over the weekend when I allowed my brain to wander (of course I had to keep reminding myself it was okay to be completely open minded and anything was possible). I think I came up with a somewhat unique paranormal story with a spirit, and boy am I excited about it! Of course it'll be a suspense because that's what I write :)

And I am continuing with another story I began to flesh out some last year for the fast tracking of Harlequin's Medical line. I've become a busy little beaver.

So, I'm curious. What is your form of brainstorming?


  1. I like to sit in a quiet corner with my ipod blaring in my ears, a clean white posterboard, post-its and colored pens. Ideas get written down, moved around and sooner or later, the thing takes shape! Brainstorming is so much fun - way more fun that slogging through the Dreaded Middle. At least for me! ;)

  2. I'm not liking the Dreaded Middle, either. Thankfully for suspense, when all else fails, drop a dead body in the mix!

  3. I like to sit and stare out my window or watch country videos and let me brain 'rest'. That's usually when things come to me unforced.

    It's funny you liken your plotting to a family tree. Hubby suggested just yesterday that I approach the rewrite of PDV like this!

  4. I like your idea tree, sounds very kinda like me except I do a straight list with fragments of thoughts.

    Thanks for sharing and keep it up :o)

  5. Thanks Melinda.

    Lisa-It's funny you mention that because sometimes my ideas like to come when I'm driving down the road listening to my country music. Thankfully, I have a voice recorder on my phone. I'll repeat my idea until I come to a stop light and can open my phone to record it.