So, at the young age I am, I’m still starting to feel just a leeeetle bit older. Formerly, I could come up with ideas upon ideas, jot down a title, and forever remember the entire plot of the story. Not so much anymore. I’ve started getting confused with all the revisionary ideas for my story. So, three weeks ago, I sat down with a blank sheet of notebook paper and titled it “What If?” I then asked all the questions I had been wondering. My page looked something like this:
. . . the hero and heroine don’t meet until later?
. . . the program the hero joins has ten times as many people?
. . . the war is less trench warfare and more covert ops?
In the margins, I jotted down other notes, for example, on the “covert ops” question, I wrote, “how would that affect the characters’ reactions in book two if they’ve been trained as spies?”
This brainstorming session was exceedingly helpful, inspired by my free writer’s group. As someone who was once skeptical of free writing, outlining, or brainstorming, I now know that you just have to figure out what method works for you, and these all can be valuable tools.
So give it a try! It’s actually kind of fun.