Today I want to share several things Rachel said that stood out to me because they're so helpful in overcoming these problems.
2) Keep asking "why." On the plane flight home from ACFW, I practiced this... and boy, it really works! Brainstorming often feels overwhelming to me because I'll just have snipbits of ideas I'm trying to piece together into something coherent. Asking"why" helps deepen these snipbits and connect them. For instance, maybe all you know about a character is that she's scared of stairs. Well, why? Maybe because when she was a kid, she tripped and fell down them. Why does that matter? Maybe she cracked her two front teeth and the other kids made fun of her. Why does that matter? Maybe she still has self-confidence issues today. That's a really quirky example for the sake of illustration, but it really is amazing how your brain will fill in the specifics if you keep digging deeper.
3) Turn off your inner editor. This is the thing I most struggle with when brainstorming. Every time I come up with an idea, part of me says, "That doesn't work with the rest of your story," or "That's ridiculous. No one will believe that." But I loved that Rachel said during her workshop. Imagine if Tolkein had sat down to write Lord of the Rings and thought to himself, "I think I'll invent a place called Middle Earth and invent a fictional language for its inhabitants... no, on second thought, that would never work." How often do we stifle brilliant ideas because they are only in the beginning stages? Rachel said you should never give up an idea until you've considered it from every angle. You may find a way to make it work.
What do you think? Do you enjoy brainstorming? What tricks do you have to make the process effective?