Forward: Novel writing tips will help you develop new ideas if you are running dry for your next best seller. This article has been written to help you, the writer, learn how to use basic brainstorming techniques to foster new story lines and plots.
by Jason Moser
Fiction novel writing can be a very tedious task for the brain. Thinking up new ideas for stories seems to get the best of you and even sometimes the new ideas don't come along for years. From years of experience coming up with new story ideas, I have put together seven simple brainstorming exercises to help you come up with new fiction story ideas, and now I'm passing them on to you.
The following novel writing tips are broken down into seven simple steps that will help you develop ideas that pop into your head out of thin air. Use the following steps to develop ideas you already have into best selling novels.
Write down your ideas as they come to you, even if they seem uninteresting! The importance here is to put it down in writing. Anything will do as a means of transfer from your brain to a more permanent source of recollection: Toilette paper, napkins, receipts, pay stubs, scrap paper, writing journals, or whatever else is available to jot down your ideas at the given moment. Voice recorders are also great capture devices. Smart phones are great because they have apps for recording your voice as well.
Just as important as something to write on is something to write with. Always keep a pen or pencil with you at all times.
Why is this so important? Because trying to remember something as brief as a thought is like trying to find a needle in a haystack; it just isn't going to happen unless you write your creative ideas down! It is so easy to lose an awesome idea among all of the other thoughts rolling around your brain, so write it down!
Use as many details as possible when capturing the ideas! More importantly in the recollection process is to be as detailed as possible so you can recall all of the information about the idea and set your idea into words for a story.
There is nothing like writing down an idea and then forgetting some of the specific details of the thought such as particulars about a scene (weather, night, day, in the woods, in a car...), character features (height, weight, build, hair color, eye color, skin color, attitudes...), plot distinctiveness (the who, what, where, when, why and how of the plot), what exact action is happening, any key elements to write about...), and what you were doing at the time the idea came to you.
The importance of writing down what you were doing is so you can recall the situation you were in when the thought came to you to possibly extract even more details from your subconscious mind during the writing process. This could be sleeping, walking, or driving your car. Ideas come at you at the most inopportune times.
Don't lose your ideas! If you write something down, you must put it somewhere special with all of your other writing ideas. Organization is key in this step of the remembering process. Creative writing ideas are hard to come by. My novel writing tips recommend you be organized with all of your writing information.
I know this is very difficult since creative people are supposed to be disorganized by nature. I know this for a fact because I am very disorganized! But, if at all least, keep all of your writing ideas in the same box or shelf on your desk. Act like you are running a business (even if you don't know how to run a business, common sense applies here) and keep everything dealing with your writing separate from everything personal. This will help you locate those ideas when you are looking for them in the future.
Get to work developing your ideas as soon as possible! Don't let your idea sit in a box for a year or two before you pull it out to write about it. The longer your idea sits idle in your brain, the harder it will be to make the idea come to life.
Hook up those jumper cables within a day or two (the sooner the better) and start writing while the idea is fresh in your mind. Even if you are deep into another story, take a few hours away from that to draft up an outline or synopsis of your new story based on your idea.
Writing down your idea helps considerably, but starting to write about the idea while it is fresh in your mind will enable you to produce a much better work of fiction. The longer it sits, the more details will be left out later on.
Brainstorm your ideas! Once you have something down on paper like your opening, start brainstorming your idea even further. Brainstorming techniques are available to help you unleash your full creative potential.
Here's the brainstorming area you will need to focus on during this step:
When brainstorming your idea, start with a pen and paper. Write down the key concept word or phrase your story is based upon. This could be a word or phrase like "pirates" or "murder mystery". Write down the key plot of your story. This could be a word or phrase like "battle for treasure among pirates" or "murder of a school teacher". (Sorry if you are a school teacher or a pirate; just something that came to my mind at the moment).
Take your paper to a secluded room (away from all distractions like kids, dogs, husbands, wives, television, telephone) and set a stopwatch or alarm clock for 7 minutes. Start the timer and start writing.
Write down everything that comes to your mind about your key concept for the first 7 minutes, then repeat this for the expanded key concept for 7 more minutes.
Write down your character's name. Do the same for each of your characters, writing down as much information about them as you can about them. Remember, this is brainstorming; write down whatever comes to your mind at the moment. Don't limit this process. Just write it down. You will weed through it later.
You can also use this technique for brainstorming scene layout and entire chapter content. The sky's the limit with these novel writing tips.
Arrange your brainstorming results! Take all of the brainstorming information you've gathered and organize it using a Mind Map or organizational chart.
Check out The Brain if you don't know what a mind map is or how to use one. These maps really help you organize your thoughts.
The home or center of the mind map will be your concept word or phrase you used to brainstorm with. As you organize this information, new ideas will probably pop into your head. Write those ideas down as well, otherwise you will forget them.
Start writing your story! This time, don't stop (well, except to do your normal everyday routine)! Write continuously until you either reach a stopping point or can't think of anything else to write. This will excite you and get your mind ready to write the rest of your book.
If you ever run out of things to write about while writing a book, or can't come up with anything else to add to your content (this happens way to often too), good novel writing tips can be expanded into idea generation. If your ideas run dry, this is a great place to get them going again.
The preceding novel writing tips should help you grasp the ideas your subconscious mind gives you at any given moment. Use those steps to assemble your best selling fiction novel!
Jason W. Moser is a self-published author and master niche website manager. He has published several books and self-help articles about fiction including 7 Novel Writing Tips to Help Develop New Story Ideas. Jason has retired from the Navy and now lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and two sons.