An excellent way of finding solutions to problems, it is used to come up with a notion, a spark of an idea, with thoughts that at first might seem a bit crazy, but, often a crazy idea will generate further ideas, the quirkier the better.
Alone or in a group?
You can brainstorm alone, or work in a group with other writers. Interestingly, any ideas brainstormed together, usually buy-in support from everyone, because everyone, has been part of the decision making process. It works rather well when writing scripts, where several writers colaborate on a project. Its a fun way to get everyone working together.
Doing it alone is better though - I say this because in my experience, what generally happens, is that people are paying far too much attention to what someone else is saying, and they tend to shut up, and don't generate any ideas of their own. To do a good job you have to take part in the process.
What is the process?
For me its mind mapping, a useful technique you can utilise which will help you to improve the way you see information, a way to solve problems creatively. You'll see how things fit together better, all on the same page, instead of a list or notes, which tend not to focus the mind to the task. The mind map format makes it easier for your mind to recall, and review.
How do I get started?
Okay, to get started, find somewhere quiet to sit and relax, get comfortable, find a pen and a sheet of paper. Write a word down in the centre of the sheet of paper, our word is MURDER for this example.
Now draw a circle around it. Next you need to add some important sub headings. Draw a line outwards from your word in the circle, and write down your first sub heading in a smaller circle. Repeat the process several times, so that you have several smaller circles extending out around your larger one, and write a word in each. You might have words like, VICTIM, MURDER SCENE, WEAPON, MURDERER and DETECTIVE in your circles.
The next step would be to draw out some lines from the smaller circles, so lets take the word VICTIM, and draw out our line, now write the word KATY, and draw a circle around it, then draw out a line from that circle, and write NURSE. Keep repeating the process, working quickly without thinking too deeply about the words at this point. Feel free to write anything down!
Keep free writing for five minutes, or until your page is full. See my example below, a fellow blogger, and passionate lover of mind maps, Catherine Noble introduced me to an App called SimpleMind which I find useful to use on my phone if I'm out and about, and for the purpose of this blog, but I prefer to write on paper. Its a personal choice.
I hope you'll give mind maps a try, as it really is an excellent tool for brainstorming. Let me know your thoughts?
|Mind Map - Maria A Smith|