Monday, September 20, 2010

Topic: How Begin to Write? Brainstorming (1).

Purpose of this blog: Topics related to writing.

10-second review: “There are no rules about what constitutes a proper seed. It can be a character, a name, a situation, structure, overheard dialogue, a setting, a theme, even a vague feeling.” P. 8.

Title: “Where Can You Find the Seeds of A Good Story?” Alexander Steele. The Writer (October 2010), 8.

Comment: All right. You have picked a topic. Now what do you do? You brainstorm. (1)

If you have attended sporting events, you will have noticed that athletes “warm up" in preparation for the contest. Baseball players stretch and run wind sprints, infielders scoop up ground balls in infield practice, while outfielders shag flies, and all the players take batting practice. The pitcher talks over the opponent’s starting lineup with the catcher, discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the hitters, and warms up his arm in preparation for the start on the mound.

Football players do calisthenics. Quarterbacks practice throwing to receivers, punters practice their punting and field-goal kickers practice kicking the ball through the goalposts. During the week, the coaches have developed a “game plan” with the players, even “scripting” the first fifteen or so plays that will be run when the offense has the ball. Basketball players practice lay-ups, jump shots and foul shots.

No organized team simply starts to play a sporting event without some kind of warm-up. The same applies to writing. You should begin to write by “warming up” or preparing yourself to write.

Brainstorming Defined
Brainstorming is a process of emptying your mind on a topic. You don’t stop to organize, to spell correctly, or even to choose your words carefully. Your purpose is, in a set period of time, to drain your mind of thoughts on the topic, preferably in short phrases. Don’t criticize yourself. Just record your ideas. If you have a question about whether an idea is appropriate, don’t think about it; just put it down on your paper. If it’s a group brainstorm, you are not allowed in any way to criticize someone else’s ideas.

To be continued.

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