Gathering ideas in a brainstorm

Posted: December 29, 2010 in software
Tags: , , , ,

Nothing ever goes according to plan in a writer’s world.

No sooner had I started thinking about the car story for January (see my last post) than it had to be relegated  to February because my brain kicked up a twirl and a swirl in storm fashion and presented me with (tra-la) a teacher, faced with a scrawny newly-arrived child and her need to connect and find a way to integrate him into the class. Complete – characters, story, the lot. With an amazing ending (ha! we shall see).

So yesterday I outlined the plot in my normal software, and today I started writing. It felt so good. And just maybe, if I hadn’t made that plan to invent these short stories every month, this plot would not have sprung so readily to mind. Brainstorming lives!

MindNode software

Anyhow, when your brain spews initial ideas out, you need some way of recording them. For me, this is a stage prior to outlining and constructing. It’s when I’m checking if the idea has legs. Will it get past page one? Will it offer some emotional tug? Can anything unusual happen? Or does it die in childbirth?

For this kind of brainstorming/thinking, I use MindNode. It’s a Mac-only program, but MindNode makes it so easy to drag and drop things from node to node that it barely causes a bleep between my thought and it being recorded for posterity (or binning).

If you have a PC, then head over to MindNode to see what it looks like for simplicity, and then try iMindMap instead or track down some other brainstorming software that suits you, and have a play with your ideas.

By the way, if anyone wants to join me on my one-story-a-month adventure I would be delighted to hear from you.

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