- File Size: 2347 KB
- Print Length: 139 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Parker Hayden Media (July 27, 2016)
- Publication Date: July 27, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01J93ZQ4S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#841,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #750 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Publishing & Books > Authorship
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- #5714 in Books > Reference > Writing, Research & Publishing Guides > Writing > Fiction
The Writer's Brainstorming Kit: Thinking in New Directions Kindle Edition
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In simple terms, every thought we have is actually an electrical impulse darting through our brain. Each thought cuts a tiny little groove into our gray matter, much like a deer track through the woods. And once a pathway is created, it's easier for our thoughts to follow the old route than to initiate a new one. The more often you think that particular thought, the deeper that little groove is gouged out. The older we get, the harder it becomes to forge a creative new thought-road, and the more ingrained that old thought becomes.
Gives new meaning to the idea of being caught in a rut, doesn't it?
Sometimes those pathways form loops, and we become trapped in a seeming endless "outer belt" circling around our habitual thought patterns. For a writer, this often leads to repetitive plots and similar characters. While a certain amount of dependability can help a writer create a solid fan base, too much of the "same old thing" can turn into a boring trap.
The Writer's Brainstorming Kit is like having your own Vogon Constructor Fleet hurrying to your very own corner of the Neurological Galaxy in order to construct a series of new Hyperspace Bypasses. In other words, it's an ingenuous cure for the creativity doldrums.
The kit contains 50 cards, each with single keyword that expresses a concept, such as "animals," "death," or "knowledge." You can use these cards to build characters or plots. You shuffle the cards, draw the required number at random, and look up the character categories or plot points listed in the book. Browsing through these helps to trigger new ideas.
If you draw a card that doesn't seem to relate, just toss it aside and pull out another. After all, this isn't a rigid game of chance, it's a pathway to stimulate your creative ability. Take all the time you want and just have fun.
I've been writing for for 48 years, and publishing my work for 39 years. At this point, it's gotten difficult to create characters who aren't like a character I've already done. I've explored rich characters and poor characters, shy characters and bold, warriors, scholars, rascals, narcissists, aloof loners and warm social butterflies. It's become increasingly difficult to experience true inspiration.
Once I'd finished reading the brief introduction, I used the deck to help me flesh out a rough character I already had in mind. Quite frankly, she was nothing but a stereotype with a name, but no real personality, goal or motivation. I had a basic plot idea but no actual story, one character who was fairly well formed, and this embryonic character based on my own personal inner mythology.
I found the cards didn't have much effect the main character, who had already taken firm root in my mind, although by pulling out the cards which suited that character, I did discover some "hidden" depths which I hadn't previously considered and which added to the framework of my plot.
With the unformed character, however, the cards created a fresh, new heroine I'd never have constructed without this new inspiration. The first two cards gave me an different idea of this woman (teacher turned soldier during a desperate invasion), but they also forced me to question the plot framework I'd been picturing. I realized I needed a stronger motivation, and like magic, this character transformed. She then manifested another aspect of the first card I'd drawn, one which wasn't even listed in the book but which resonated with the keyword. And within moments, this character came alive inside my mind, transforming my comfortable plot into something new and vital.
I pulled the rest of the cards, discarding one that didn't fit. In less than an hour, I had a fresh, new character.
I'm so excited, I'm having trouble returning to the last bit of the revision on my current WIP because I'm driven to set these new ideas into action. I've never designed a character like her before: she's much tougher, more scarred, and ultimately more real than any character I've previously created. Oh, I love every clever, paranoid, damaged inch of her!
And without this kit, I have no doubt she would have been just an upgrade of one of my previous characters. After so many years of writing, it's like relocating to a new planet with entirely different citizens and social customs. I can't wait to use the cards to work on the details of the plot, though just having this character has already changed the thrust of my story.
If you're young and bursting with ideas, this kit might not be something you feel you need just yet. However, given how much this has helped to flesh out my existing ideas, I think even a creatively vital new writer could benefit from this. The cards are based on Debra Dixon's "GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict," the book I recommend every serious writer obtain, and it's an easy way to learn those basic concepts. And utilizing this kit from the beginning will undoubtedly help you avoid forming habitual neural pathways before they can solidify.
If you're facing the dreaded "Writer's Block," this kit will be invaluable.
And if you're an old dog, like me, then treat yourself to this kit as soon as you can. It's worth every penny. It's lots of fun, it's stimulating, and it's productive. You don't have to use it every time you start a new project, but it can't hurt to have this kit on hand. I have a feeling mine will see quite a bit of use in the future.