Tag Archives: brainstorming

The Meat and Potatoes by Casey Wyatt

Woohoo! It’s Friday again. Casey here.

Mmm . . . bacon. Just try me. That whole pan is full of bacon.
Mmm . . . bacon. Just trust me. That whole pan is full of bacon.

Just a quick reminder, I’m participating in The Romance Review’s Sizzling Summer Reads. Not just me, but hundreds of authors, so be sure to check out the fun!

Finally, I’m going to share one of my favorite parts of writing – the meat and potatoes – creating plot points. But first, a recap of what I’ve shared so far:  Initial Premise, Shallow Character Development, and Three Act Plotting.

Now, all these seemingly pointless tasks are going to start coming into focus. Unlike the other parts of the process, which take little time, developing plot points will take effort and more concentration.

Everyone plots differently. I like to use index cards. They’re cheap (.47 cents at Target) and portable. Other methods include Scrivener, Post-its, outlines, keeping it all in your head. I strongly suggest not relying on the sheer power of your mind. For one thing, it’s easy to forget what you were intending to do. Free up the noggin and save your energy for the actual writing process.

If you’ve been wondering or chomping at the bit to start creating, here is the big moment. Brainstorming.

No holds barred. Whatever you want. No Doubt Monster allowed.

Tell the internal critic, editor, and English teacher to shut up.

In this step I jot down ONE (and I mean it!) plot point per card. If I have a scene to go

Find your happy place and let your imagination fly!
Find your happy place and let your imagination fly!

with it, I flip the card over and make a note so I don’t forget later. Keep doing this until you have all the cards filled (at least 25 – 30).

One caution – keep in mind these plot points are all on trial. Right now, they are auditioning for a part in your story. If they don’t fit, be prepared to ruthlessly discard them.

But not yet. For the moment, keep imagining and keep writing those ideas down. Next week, I’ll share how I wrangle them into a manageable plot line.

Where do you go to find your happy place? And what tools do you use for brainstorming?

p.s. Chocolate and wine count as tools.

Do Not Disturb – Daydreaming in Progress

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here.

Shh… hold on a moment. I’m staring out my window. Aren’t my squirrels cute? I know I should be writing but I’m vegging.

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I’m not thinking about anything writing related right now either. And that’s okay.I’m remembering a recent trip to Ikea with my buddies, Katy, Suze and J. We had a lot of fun with those owl puppets.

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I’m letting my mind wander while I look at this. . . . this is such a divine tree.

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I’m a true believer in daydreaming/vegging out/being lazy. I can’t think of a single idea that originated from me sitting down and saying, “I will now generate story ideas.” That totally doesn’t work for me.

Here’s where my past ideas came from:

  • Mystic Ink - baby name book while I was researching a totally different story.
  • The Undead Space Initiative - driving my car.
  • Misfortune Cookie – while daydreaming during my day job. Let me clarify – I was working on something repitive and my mind went into some other dimension.
  • Ascension – during a car ride.
  • Unnamed projects in the works – various places like sitting around being a couch potato, waiting in line at the grocery store, watching the news, and driving in the car (that seems to be my biggest idea generator).

The best ideas always sneak up on me when I least expect them! Kind of like those gremlins in the dryer that steal socks – no one sees them, yet the results are the same – two go in – one comes out. And don’t tell me I’m the only one with them! Either that, or I have a pocket dimension in my basement.

I have to thank Jamie for her post Monday - I don’t wanna. It reminded me that it’s normal to not do anything once in a while. In fact, I would argue that if you don’t stop and stare out the window regularly, you will never, ever have any fresh ideas again.

What does everyone else think? Can you command your mind to be creative? Or do you have to trick it like I do?

My Fortress of Solitude

Happy Friday everyone! Casey Wyatt here! Please be sure to visit at my blog today where I discuss – American Restoration, Pawn Stars and a Web Hunt! (and you can find out about Night Owl’s Summer Fun Hunt and learn how you can enter to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card from me.)

Every May, I’m giddy with joy! May means summer and summer means – my deck gazebo! (Yes, I do realize today is June 1, but my gazebo goes up in May!)

To say I love my gazebo is a massive understatement. It’s my version of the man cave. My fortress of solitude. It’s like having my own private room.

Soft cushions, privacy panel and bug screen – ahhh!

Anyone who lives with a house full of men, will understand the need to have some space from the guys. I love them, but I need quiet time. And I’ve found that it’s great for thinking. A perfect imaginarium. Mystic Ink, The Undead Space Initiative and my WIPs were all born out on my deck.

Owls are an important decoration…

Since hubby and older son hole up playing on the computer, only younger son will join me out there. We’ve had deep conversations, witnessed some cool animal visitations – like our hummingbird and a cool garden spider - and enjoyed the solitude.

Enjoy the local wildlife . . .

This year, for the first time, I decided to bring my laptop outside. This was a big step for me. Forever, I’ve only typed at the kitchen table. After receiving a laptop cooling pad this past Christmas, I’ve ventured onto my couch. Once I realized that I could actually be productive away from the table, I journeyed outside.

And take time to smell the flowers.

And it is sweet! I easily nail my word count. When I’m not writing, I love to read out there too. Sometimes, I just sit and stare at my flowers or the deep blue sky.

How about you? Got a favorite place to hide out and enjoy solitude?