Brainstorming Ideas for Your Novel

Novel cover

This article has been excerpted from Fiction Frenzy.)

Here’s a tip: you don’t need a huge amount of time to do the preliminary work on your novel.

Use whatever time you have:

  • Five minutes waiting for a meeting to start;

  • 35 minutes waiting in the doctor’s waiting room;

  • Your commute, if you travel by train or bus.

A friend with a young family likes to prep-write on her iPad, while the family watches TV or a DVD. She spends time with them, while also working on her novel. The free-floating dreamy state, when you’re just musing, is perfect for this kind of work. Just make sure that you don’t become too engrossed in whatever is on the screen. 🙂

Another tip…

Get Ready to Publish While You’re Writing

Start thinking about publishing now, before you finish your book. Check out this article: “Kindle Publishing: 3 Simple Ways to Increase Your Sales”.

Read the article, and make some notes on what to do once you upload your novel to the Kindle book store.

Today, let’s look at a tactic which will not only help you to write, but will also help you to build your enthusiasm for your book: brainstorming ideas.

Brainstorm Ideas: Ten Ideas Are Better Than One

You can brainstorm whenever you get stuck, or you can brainstorm everything. I like to brainstorm everything from titles and character names, to motivation and ideas for locations.

There are many ways to brainstorm. If you’re not familiar with brainstorming, here’s an excellent article to get you started.

I do a lot of brainstorming, in every draft. I FORCE myself to come up with ideas. There’s a reason for this. The first idea which pops into your head might be great. However, that’s unlikely. It’s much more likely that the tenth, or 20th idea, will be just what you need.

Try to surprise yourself.

At the level of a scene, every character in the scene needs an agenda: a goal. Brainstorm a goal for every character in a scene. Rarely will a character reveal his/ her goal. This means that every character in your scene is hiding something. Brainstorm characters’ secrets before you write a scene. Your scenes will be suspenseful. Your readers will keep reading.

Exercise: Practice Brainstorming

Brainstorm a couple of times today. At the end of your writing session, think about whether brainstorming helped or hindered you. Then write about what you noticed when you brainstormed. Was it easy or hard for you? Were you pleased with the ideas?

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.